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Shield for Murder (1954)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  27 August 1954 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 354 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 3 critic

When a brutal police detective Lt. murders a bookmaker's runner for $25,000 in cash, a deaf mute sees him do it, and now he finds he must kill again to try and cover his tracks.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Shield for Murder (1954)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Detective Lt. Barney Nolan
Marla English ...
Patty Winters
...
Detective. Sgt. Mark Brewster
Emile Meyer ...
Capt. Gunnarson
...
Beth--Girl at Bar
...
Fat Michaels
Lawrence Ryle ...
Laddie O'Neil (as Larry Ryle)
Herbert Butterfield ...
Cabot--Police Reporter
Hugh Sanders ...
Packy Reed
...
Assistant D.A.
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Storyline

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 to the money to buy a model home for his would-be lounge singer girlfriend. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If ever a picture was crammed with guts, this is it. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Freibrief für Mord  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stafford Repp's first film. See more »

Goofs

No such thing as a silenced revolver: At the very beginning of the movie, the bookie is shot with a snub nose revolver having a silencer attached to the barrel. Because combustion gases leak through the gap between the cylinder and the barrel (allowing a loud noise to escape), a revolver cannot be effectively silenced. Only guns with a continuous firing chamber and barrel, such as an automatic or a single shot, can be silenced. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Detective Capt. Gunnarson: [to police reporter] Write his story good.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'50s B noir
14 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Edmond O'Brien has a "Shield for Murder" in this 1954 noir also starring Marla English, John Agar, and Carolyn Jones. O'Brien plays a bad cop - one review here said he was a good cop who gave into temptation. Not so. He was a bad cop, who had been suspected of trouble in the past but never caught.

In the beginning of the film, Barney (O'Brien), a detective, kills a bookie and steals the $25,000 that the victim is carrying. He claims that he killed in self defense, and his story is accepted. Then the fact that the bookie was carrying money, now missing, emerges. What Barney doesn't know at first is that there is a witness, a deaf and dumb man, who saw the whole thing.

Barney is a person of great interest to the bookie's boss, and also, a young man he helped bring up in the force (John Agar), his staunchist defender against criticism, is anxious to clear him. Barney, meanwhile, wants to purchase a dream house for him and his girlfriend (English) and get married. When he finds out about the witness, he needs to do some fast work.

O'Brien gives a very hard-edged performance. His character is completely unlikable. The very pretty Marla English unfortunately was unable to act. In one scene, however, Barney goes into a bar and meets a platinum blonde, who turns out to be actress Carolyn Jones, normally known for her stylish short black haircut.

Pretty brutal for the '50s. O'Brien elevates the material. Interesting noir, co-directed by Howard Koch and O'Brien.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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