IMDb > A Blueprint for Murder (1953)
A Blueprint for Murder
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A Blueprint for Murder (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Andrew L. Stone (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Blueprint for Murder on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
September 1953 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
He kissed her into the most sacred confession a woman can make! See more »
Plot:
Whitney Cameron suspects his sister-in-law has poisoned his brother and niece, but without proof how does he prevent the murder of his nephew? Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A whodunnit with poise, maybe too much poise, but clever and smartly made See more (29 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joseph Cotten ... Whitney 'Cam' Cameron

Jean Peters ... Lynn Cameron

Gary Merrill ... Fred Sargent

Catherine McLeod ... Maggie Sargent

Jack Kruschen ... Det.ective Lt. Harold Y. Cole
Barney Phillips ... Detective Capt. Pringle
Freddy Ridgeway ... Doug Cameron
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eugene Borden ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Herbert Butterfield ... Judge at Preliminary Hearing (uncredited)
Harry Carter ... Wheeler - Lynne's Chauffeur (uncredited)
Charles Collins ... Pesticide Seller (uncredited)
Pamela Duncan ... Nurse (uncredited)
Herbert Ellis ... First Detective at Desk (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Maggie's Friend at Club (uncredited)
Raymond Gray ... Waiter (uncredited)
Ed Hinton ... Ed - Detective (uncredited)
Jonathan Hole ... Dr. Stevenson (uncredited)
Ray Hyke ... Hospital Pharmacist (uncredited)
Guy Kingsford ... Detective (uncredited)
Don Kohler ... Ship's Officer (uncredited)
Herbert Lytton ... Ship's Doctor (uncredited)
Teddy Mangean ... Attendant (uncredited)

Mae Marsh ... Anna Swenson - Lynne's Housekeeper (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Ship's Cocktail Waiter (uncredited)
Joyce McCluskey ... Nurse Bobbie Brownell (uncredited)
Tyler McVey ... Police Lab Technician (uncredited)
George Melford ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Lynn's Lawyer (uncredited)
Grandon Rhodes ... Probate Judge James J. Adams (uncredited)
Walter Sande ... Dist. Atty. John J. Henderson (uncredited)
Marjorie Stapp ... Nurse (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Ship's Headwaiter (uncredited)
Charles Tannen ... Detective (uncredited)
Aline Towne ... Hospital File Clerk (uncredited)
Sally Yarnell ... Nurse (uncredited)
Carleton Young ... Ship's Det. Frank Connelly (uncredited)

Directed by
Andrew L. Stone  (as Andrew Stone)
 
Writing credits
Andrew L. Stone (written by) (as Andrew Stone)

Original Music by
Leigh Harline (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Leo Tover 
 
Film Editing by
William B. Murphy 
 
Art Direction by
Albert Hogsett 
Lyle R. Wheeler 
 
Set Decoration by
Fred J. Rode 
 
Costume Design by
Charles Le Maire 
 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ad Schaumer .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
W.D. Flick .... sound
Harry M. Leonard .... sound
 
Visual Effects by
Ray Kellogg .... special photographic effects
 
Music Department
Lionel Newman .... musical director
David Buttolph .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Franz Waxman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
77 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The ship at sea is the same miniature model used for for Titanic (1953), which in turn was used for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Dangerous Crossing (1953).See more »
Goofs:
Plot holes: As an autopsy shows that Cam's brother had no strychnine in his body, it is not explained why he exhibited the exact same symptoms as his poisoned daughter.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Whitney 'Cam' Cameron:Where is Polly Cameron's room?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Auld Lang SyneSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
A whodunnit with poise, maybe too much poise, but clever and smartly made, 22 June 2011
Author: secondtake from United States

A Blueprint for Murder (1953)

A clean, old-fashioned murder mystery, brightly lit, and even including a voyage on a cruise ship to Europe like some Betty Davis movie, or Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. It's a crime standard at the end of the film noir era, with a terrific star who never quite fit into any genre very well, Joseph Cotten. It's smart and fast and strong and almost believable, at least until the drawing room high stakes of the end, which is just great movie-making.

Cotten plays Whitney Cameron, and he's visiting his niece in the hospital. Quick facts pour on (and are slightly hard to follow at first): she has some strange affliction, her father (Cameron's brother) died of a strange affliction a few years earlier, and the stepmother is sweet as cherry pie, though she plays a demonically fierce romantic piano. Then the niece suddenly dies, and before Cameron leaves the scene, suspicions arise about the stepmother.

By the way, stepmothers can do terrible things that mothers would never do to their own children, like murder them. And so we are led down that obvious path. Soon, however, we know that the movie can't be quite that simple, and another suspect clarifies. The view is left deciding who is playing the better game of "not me." It's good stuff, very good, though constrained and reasonable, too. We don't always want "reasonable" in a film.

The stepmother is excellent, played by Jean Peters, and a helping couple is also first rate, especially Gary Merrill as a lawyer friend. Merrill was in "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and "All About Eve," and is partly why those are great films. Peters plays the cheerful innocent here just as she did in a another pair of masterpieces, "Niagara" (with Cotten) and "Pickup on South Street" (a true noir from the same year as this one).

It's Cotten who drives the movie, however, and he has a tone rather similar to his similar "visiting uncle" role in "Shadow of a Doubt." He is, in fact, a kind of soft-spoken, dependable icon in many movies (and later lots of t.v.) and it's because he's so normal that I think he's less adored. But he's exactly what the movie needs, guiding us first through the police investigation and then the informal one of his own. It had the makings of a tightly woven classic.

Why are there so many films that are quite good but not amazing? I think a little of everything, often, but here it's the story itself that is limiting. A great idea, surely, but a little too familiar in its basic plot, and quite simple. A second plot, or another suspect, or another murder along the way would have been just fine. I think the directing (by Andrew Stone) is competent but lacks vision, and an unwillingness to push the edges a little. It proceeds, and we don't want movies to simply move along. There are, however, some excellent scenes, like one in the police office early on where the two leading men are led from one desk to another, from one group of cops to another, in a flowing, backward moving long take. It's a lesson in first rate cinematography, actually.

And in fact the movie is totally enjoyable, never slow, expertly done, with a good cast.

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