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Detective Story (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1951 (UK)
On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Luis Van Rooten ...
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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!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1951 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

Detective James McLeod: At an autopsy the other day I watched the medical examiner saw off the top of a man's skull, take out the brain and hold it in his hand.
[holds out his hand]
Detective James McLeod: Like that.
Mary McLeod: Why are you telling me this?
Detective James McLeod: Because I'd give my soul to take out my brain, hold it under the faucet and wash away the dirty pictures you put there tonight.
Mary McLeod: Dirty pictures?
Detective James McLeod: Yes!
Mary McLeod: Oh, I see. I see. Yes, that would be fine... if we could. But when you wash away what I may have put there, you'll find you've a rotten spot in your ...
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Connections

Referenced in Le Bonheur (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Marche Funebre In C Minor Op. 72, No. 2
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

 
outstanding in its genre
1 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

This top-notch police story rises far above the norm for its type. A true example of ensemble acting, the film incorporates many well-known character actors all putting in first-rate work, led by the superb efforts of Kirk Douglas and William Bendix, the latter in what may be his best screen role. This may be one of the earliest examples of the "typical day" genre, in which multiple story lines occurring in a single day in a certain locale are melded into a whole (a genre exemplified by the "Hill Street Blues" and "Barney Miller" of tv). An excellent script and good direction, aided by interesting characters, keep the dramatic tension moving along briskly to the searing conclusion. This is not your run-of-the-mill police story, and is definitely worth a see.


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