6.9/10
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4 user 1 critic

Calling Homicide (1956)

Two homicide detectives search for a connection between the car-bombing murder of a fellow investigator and the mutilation murder of a much-hated owner of a modeling school.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Don Haggerty ...
Kathleen Case ...
Donna Graham
Myron Healey ...
Jim Haddix
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Darlene Adams
Thomas Browne Henry ...
Allen Gilmore (as Thomas B. Henry)
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Tony Fuller
Almira Sessions ...
Mrs. Ida Dunsetter
Herb Vigran ...
Ray Engel
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Det. Arnie Arnhoff
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Benny Bendowski
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Storyline

The third of five films (Dial Red-O, Sudden Danger, Calling Homicide, Chain of Evidence, and Footsteps in the Night in release order and released across a full period of three years) in which Bill Elliott played a detective lieutenant (Andy Flynn in the first one, Doyle in the others) in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide department) with all five produced by Ben Schwab but a different director on each one. Lieutenant Andy Doyle of the Los Angeles Sheriff;s homicide department, while investigation the mysterious dynamiting death of a young policeman, discovers that the strangling-murder of Francine Norman, owner of a modeling school, is linked with the first killing. While questioning those connected with the school, manager Darlene Adams, and executives Allen Gilmore and Tony Fuller, Lt. Doyle and his aide, Detective Sergeant Mike Duncan, find there is a blackmailing "baby racket" being run in conjunction with the school. Suspicion points to construction company owner Jim ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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EVERY COP KNOWS WHAT TO CALL IT!...a word as wicked as man has ever spoken!..a racket that preys on beauty---and pays off with MURDER! (original print ad) See more »

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Crime | Drama

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Approved | See all certifications »
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30 September 1956 (USA)  »

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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Followed by Footsteps in the Night (1957) See more »

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Hollywood-set police procedural like ‘50s TV with a bit more grit and oomph
27 April 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

An hour-long police procedural set in late-Chandler Los Angeles, Calling Homicide looks cheap and unstylish, like an episode of Perry Mason minus Raymond Burr, William Talman and Ray Collins (its cast is culled from from unsung bit-part players and brief-careered starlets, from veterans of crime programmers and Westerns – the lead goes to `Wild' Bill Elliott). But it has a Poverty-Row oomph to it and unfolds its story in a brisk, no-nonsense way.

The L.A. Sheriff's Department gets hit by a doubled-barreled blast: One of its detectives is incinerated by a car bomb in the station's parking lot, while up in Coldwater Canyon a woman's body is discovered, mutilated like the Black Dahlia victim of a decade earlier. (The plot's roots stretch back to post-war Hollywood. A script girl identifies a photo as coming from Universal's The Crooked Mile; could she mean Republic's The Last Crooked Mile of 1946?)

Galvanized into action, they identify the body as that of a former actress, now the ruthless proprietor of a `modeling' school – which turns out to be a cover for a black-market-baby (and blackmail) racket that the murdered detective had been investigating. There's no want of suspects, as they can't find anybody with a decent word to utter about the deceased. Still, nobody has the courage to sing; the few who consider it find themselves with very abbreviated futures....

Far worse hours have been recorded on film than Calling Homicide, a stripped-down crime story that shows how closely related B-movies and television dramas had become in the late-1950s, though this Hollywood product shows a bit more edge and energy than would be thought suitable for living-room consumption for years to come.


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