MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 3,323 this week

Detective Story (1951)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  19 May 1952 (Denmark)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,737 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 31 critic

On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 20 Mar 2011
 
a list of 34 titles
created 11 Sep 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 21 Dec 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 04 Apr 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 30 May 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Detective Story" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Detective Story (1951)

Detective Story (1951) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Detective Story.

User Polls

Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Carrie (1952)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Carrie boards the train to Chicago with big ambitions. She gets a job stitching shoes and her sister's husband takes almost all of her pay for room and board. Then she injures a finger and ... See full summary »

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jennifer Jones, Miriam Hopkins
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Glen, Hal and Sam are three escaped convicts who move in on and terrorize a suburban household.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, Arthur Kennedy
Caged (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby
Dead End (1937)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Dead End Kids, an unemployed architect, and gangster Baby Face Martin interact with an East Side neighborhood over one day and night.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, Humphrey Bogart
The Letter (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson
Champion (1949)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Arthur Kennedy, Marilyn Maxwell
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the 20th century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Adventure | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A U.S. Marshall and two deputies rescue a cattle rustler from a lynch mob led by a local cattle baron convinced that the rustler also killed his son.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Virginia Mayo, John Agar
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The film chronicles Australian-born opera star Marjorie Lawrence's success, her battle with polio, and her eventual career comeback.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Glenn Ford, Eleanor Parker, Roger Moore
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Southern lawyer uncovers the truth about a slain undertaker.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Lee J. Cobb, Anthony Zerbe, Roscoe Lee Browne
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva
The Heiress (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Horace McMahon ...
...
...
...
...
...
Craig Hill ...
...
Luis Van Rooten ...
...
Edit

Storyline

Jim McLeod is a hard-nosed and cynical detective. He believes in a strict interpretation of the law and doesn't believe in turning the other cheek. The current object of his zealousness is Karl Schneider, an abortionist responsible for the death of several young women. Schneider's lawyer tells the precinct lieutenant that McLeod has his own personal reasons for going after his client. It turns out that his wife was a patient before they met, although Jim knew nothing of it. His world suddenly turned upside down, McLeod is too late in re-evaluating his priorities. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The love story of a man whose wife was more woman than angel!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1952 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

William Wyler's Production of Sidney Kingsley's Detective Story  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The play ran on Broadway for 581 performances, from 23 March 1949 through 12 August 1950. It starred Ralph Bellamy as Det. McLeod. Meg Mundy played his wife. Maureen Stapleton played Miss Hatch, and James Westerfield was Lou Brody. See more »

Goofs

In some of the close-up shots of McLeod and Schneider in the back of the paddy wagon, McLeod's shadow can be faintly seen on the rear-projection screen showing the street behind them. (Other shadows can also be seen.) See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Monaghan: Can't you say "Yes, sir" without makin' it sound like an insult?
Detective James McLeod: Yes, sir.
Lieutenant Monaghan: You're gettin' too superior, McLeod, a one-man army against crime. What's eatin' you?
Detective James McLeod: I hate criminals. I don't believe in coddling them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Powerful Kirk Douglas Performance in NYC Precinct Drama
24 August 2006 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Adapted from a stage play by Sidney Kingsley, "Detective Story" depicts a day at a New York police precinct in the early 1950's. The film resembles a feature-length episode of "Barney Miller" without the jokes as the detectives bring various shoplifters, petty thieves, and embezzlers into the station for booking. However, the film does not lack humor as a broad hammy performance by Joseph Wiseman and an only slightly subtler take on a Brooklynese shoplifter by Lee Grant lighten up the often heavily dramatic proceedings.

The central character, Detective Jim McLeod, is an unforgiving, by-the-book veteran, who sees the world in black and white, good versus evil, with no shades of gray in between. Kirk Douglas brings McLeod to life in one of his finest, most powerful performances. Douglas's Oscar-caliber work is matched by a fragile, deeply felt performance by Eleanor Parker as McLeod's wife, who harbors a secret from her past that, unknown to either McLeod or his wife, connects back to an on-going police case. The scenes between Douglas and Parker are among the best in the film.

Veteran director William Wyler retains most of the play's action in the central precinct room and only occasionally breaks from the claustrophobic set for a breather. Lee Garmes photographed "Detective Story" in crisp black and white, and some of the shots of New York City could be framed and hung on a wall. With a cast of top character players that includes Gladys George, William Bendix, Frank Faylen, and George Macready, the multi-character, multi-plotted "Detective Story" is a powerful, well-acted film that somehow is less often seen than its quality warrants.


16 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great acting by Joseph Wiseman richsass
Honestly, Eleanor Parker brought the film down for me karl_mccoll
Barney Miller denmoab
What's the Actor's Name? InsanityLovesCompany
Detective Story chaucersan
Good writing from the 50s is so funny! wrongdoer
Discuss Detective Story (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page