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Shield for Murder (1954)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 27 August 1954 (USA)
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 cover his tracks.


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Detective Lt. Barney Nolan
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.


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 Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 August 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Freibrief für Mord  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Stafford Repp's first film. See more »


In the opening scene, Nolan walks past a full-length glass door. Visible in reflection is a stage light with a screen in front of it with large perforations - to give the street lighting an uneven or "dappled" look. See more »


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

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User Reviews

Why Not Try the Veterans Administration for a Loan
16 July 2007 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Unfortunately roles for talented middle-aged actors like Edmond O'Brien and Ida Lupino were drying-up in the mid-1950's, with TV replacing the old black-and-white B-movie. Lupino carried on with a successful career behind the camera, and it appears O'Brien was exploring that option too, by co-directing this independent production. The results however are pretty uneven. O'Brien gets to sweat his usual bucket-load, playing a cop corrupted by the allure of a tract house in burgeoning suburbia. (Now there's a departure!-- in fact, one of the curious attractions is a tour through the well-appointed tract home of the period, something that glitzy Hollywood never had much time for.) There's also some well-staged scenes-- the shoot-out around the public pool is both unusual and well-executed, while the beating in the bar reaches a jarringly brutal pitch that registers on the stricken faces of the patrons and O'Brien's contorted brow.

However, the pacing fails to generate the excitement or intensity a thriller like this needs. Plus the performance level really drops off with English and Agar. Their conversation around the pool, in fact, amounts to a seminar in bad acting. Too bad, O'Brien didn't have the budget to surround himself with a calibre of actors equal to his own. In passing-- the guy playing the deaf-mute really jarred me. He looks so unlike the usual bit-player and is so well cast that the scene in his room with O'Brien comes across as more than just a little poignant. Also, more than just a hint of kink emerges with Carolyn Jones' well-played barfly nympho. She's clearly on her way up the casting ladder. Anyway, there's probably enough compensation here to make up for Agar and English and the listless scenes in the station house, particularly for those curiosity seekers wondering about Better Homes and Gardens 1950's style.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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