MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,806 this week

Detective Story (1951)

7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,381 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 30 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

Editors' Spotlight

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

Related News

9 Books You Need to Read This December
| Vulture
Mystery Road wows UK critics
| IF.com.au

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 04 Sep 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 21 Dec 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 19 Mar 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 04 Apr 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 11 months ago
 

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.
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
The Heiress (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 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
The Letter (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
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
Hell's Heroes (1929)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When four men rob a bank, one is killed and the other three escape into the desert where they lose their horses in a storm. Finding a woman who gives birth, they are made godfathers only to... See full summary »

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Charles Bickford, Raymond Hatton, Fred Kohler
Drama | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins
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
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
Glamour (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A married chorus girl falls in love with a composer.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Paul Lukas, Constance Cummings, Phillip Reed
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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A camp butcher on an Albany night boat dreams of the South Seas.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Slim Summerville, Zasu Pitts, Una Merkel
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

Film debut of Burt Mustin. 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

Detective James McLeod: Take a couple of drop dead pills.
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

 
It's intense at the 21st Precinct.
7 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

An assortment of detectives and an assortment of criminals, all gathered together under the oppressive 21st Precint roof. It's a day that nobody present will ever forget, for better or worse...

Directed by William Wyler (Best years Of Our Lives, Ben-Hur & Wuthering Heights) and starring Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, Cathy O'Donnell and Joseph Wiseman.

Detective Story is based on the smash hit Broadway play by Sidney Kingsley, adapted by Phillip Yordan and Robert Wyler, it's with much relief to me that the worry of it being a stagy production never actually materialises. Practically set on one bleak, but quite excellently appropriate set (creation courtesy of Hal Pereira & Earl Hedrick), Detective Story manages to rise above its very simple plot by boasting interesting characters in a pot boiling story just waiting to peak. Each character has much to offer the film, be it oddly quirky or overtly intense, within the confines of this particular precinct, the characters create engrossing drama.

It's a difficult film to sell without giving too much away, by outlaying the character persona's and mental fortitude's, I personally feel that it will dull the impact of this influential crime genre piece. It's got real raw emotive acting, particularly from Kirk Douglas as Jim McLeod and Eleanor Parker as his wife Mary, while the technical aspects (watch Lee Garmes' camera glide like a third party witness) are impressively high. And with it embracing as it does, morality themes, it also doesn't lack for interest to the cranial head scratching crowd. It's by definition to me an all encompassing picture, one that is now sure to be a perennial viewing in my home. It's not a standard fare crime picture, and it most definitely is a talky film, but it works incredibly well, so one can only hope that many others will feel the same as me, namely that it is a fine and essential genre piece. 8/10


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page