Jerry McKibbon is a tough, no nonsense reporter, mentoring special prosecutor John Conroy in routing out corrupt officials in the city, which may even include Conroy's own police detective father as a suspect.
Jenny Marsh, still dangerously attractive after 5 years in prison for killing a man in defense of her shady lover Harry, clashes at first with parole officer Griff Marat, who's determined ... See full summary »
On a dark night of pelting rain, five men stage a well-planned train robbery and get away with a $10 millionr, nine-ton gold shipment. Dividing the massive haul into three concealed truck ... See full summary »
Unscrupulous showgirl Flaxy Martin involves young attorney Walter Colby with mobster Hap Richie. A girl is murdered, with the evidence pointing to Flaxy, and Colby takes the rap and gets a ... See full summary »
Richard L. Bare
A vicious cop kills a bookie's runner and steals $25,000 from the corpse. He then frames everyone in sight in order to keep the money to buy a new home for his would-be lounge singer girlfriend. Written by
When Noland shows Patty the new model house, the sign out front says "Castle Heights Tract Homes". Castle Heights is an actual Los Angeles neighborhood where such homes were being built at the time. It is situated between Chevoit Hills, Beverlywood and the Santa Monica Freeway. See more »
Brewster gives out the address of the Castle Heights model home over the police radio as 466 South Camden Drive. That location is in Beverly Hills, between W. Olympic Blvd. and W. Pico Blvd. - not Castle Heights. See more »
Edmond O'Brien as bad cop in brutal Eisenhower-era look at police corruption
In Shield for Murder (a movie he co-directed with Howard Koch), Edmond O'Brien plays a Los Angeles cop `gone sour.' Bloated and sweaty, he's a sneak preview of another bad apple Orson Welles in Touch of Evil. In a pre-title sequence, he guns down a drug runner in cold blood, relieves the corpse of an envelope crammed with $25-thou, then yells `Stop or I'll shoot' for the benefit of eavesdroppers before firing twice into the air. When his partner (John Agar) arrives, there's only a few hundred dollars left on the body, and it looks like a justifiable police action though O'Brien's shock tactics have already drawn the unwelcome attention of his new captain (Emile Meyer).
O'Brien wants the money to buy into the American Dream to put a down-payment on a tract house, furnished (oddly enough) right down to the table settings. It's a bungalow to share with his girl, Marla English, as well as a handy place to bury his cash in its yard. But a couple of things go wrong. First off, a local crime boss wants back the loot O'Brien ripped off and dispatches a couple of goons to retrieve it. Then, though there were no eye-witnesses to the murder, there was in fact an eavesdropper an old blind man whose acute hearing picked up a sequence of shots that don't add up to the official story. When this good citizen decides to tell the police what he heard, O'Brien decides to pay him a nocturnal visit....
Based on a novel by William McGivern (who also wrote the books from which The Big Heat, Rogue Cop and Odds Against Tomorrow were drawn), Shield For Murder embodies some of the shifts in tone and emphasis the noir cycle was showing as it wound down. Its emphasis is less on individuals caught up in circumstance than on widespread public corruption; its tone is less suggestive than ostentatiously violent. The movie ratchets up to a couple of brutal set-pieces.
In one, O'Brien, knocking back doubles at the bar in a spaghetti cellar, is picked up by a floozie (Carolyn Jones, in what looks like Barbara Stanwyck's wig from Double Indemnity). `You know what's the matter with mirrors in bars?' she asks him. `Men always make hard faces in them.' While she eats, he continues to drink. When the goons track him down there, O'Brien savagely pistol-whips one of them (Claude Akins) to the horror of the other patrons who had come to devour their pasta in peace. Later, there's an attempted pay-off (and a double-cross) in a public locker-room and swimming-pool that ends in carnage. It's easy to dismiss Shield For Murder it has a seedy B-picture look and a literalness that typified most of the crime films of the Eisenhower administration. But it's grimly effective almost explosive.
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