Detective Story (1951) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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
  • Jim McLeod is a police detective at New York City's 21st Precinct. He has a black and white view of the law, where he does not tolerate anything considered criminal. If he could, he would act as judge and jury for any case in which he is involved, prosecuting to the max. As such, he, if the case was his, would probably prosecute the naive young woman caught shoplifting, she who is waiting at the precinct to be processed for night court. He definitely has it in for Charley and Lewis, two burglary suspects each with a long rap sheet. And he even persuades a victim to press charges against a remorseful young man for a first offense of theft, even though the victim, under the advice of Jim's more compassionate partner Lou Brody, was going to drop the charges since he knows the man, knows him to be basically good, understands the reason for the crime, and was going to be reimbursed for the amount of the theft. Jim has caused issue for the precinct chief, Lieutenant Monaghan, for his heavy handed approach to dealing with his suspects, and even witnesses who can't or won't support his cases toward his end goal of prosecution. The latest target for Jim is Karl Schneider, who the courts have previously acquitted for lack of evidence, but who he is certain has committed criminal acts. But the case against Schneider takes a turn when Jim's loving wife Mary is brought in, she who is implicated in those acts. The question becomes whether Jim's view of the world will change if Mary was indeed involved, regardless of if it was for good reason.

    - Written by Huggo
  • On a day in the life of the 21st Precinct detective squad, we meet a batty old lady; petty embezzler Arthur, and the wonderful girl whose unrequited love may redeem him; a pair of blustering, but dangerous, burglars; a charmingly naive shoplifter who observes the activity with timorous interest; and Detective Jim McLeod, self-appointed crusader who has no mercy for lawbreakers. He little suspects his obsessive pursuit of an abortionist is leading him to personal disaster.

    - Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>
  • In the 21st Precinct of New York, criminals are booked after being arrested: a shoplifter is brought after stealing a purse in a department store; two burglars with extensive criminal record are captured by a policeman; the small time embezzler Arthur Kindred, who is primary and without any resistance. The tough Detective McLeod is an honest detective with strong principles and code of honor, who loves his wife Mary. He is near to conclude a case against an abortionist, Dr. Karl Schneider, with the testimony of a witness that is coming to identify Dr. Schneider. However, the woman is bribed and the upset McLeod hits Schneider, and he insinuates to McLeod's chief, Lt. Monaghan, that the problem is personal and gives the name of Mary McLeod. Lt. Monaghan invites Mary to come to the precinct for investigation, when deep inner secrets are disclosed leading to a tragedy.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

    - Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>


Detective Story (1951) is classified as film noir, telling the story of a single day in a police detective squad room...

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