Crime of Passion (1957)

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Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.



(original story and screenplay)
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Complete credited cast:
Police Lt. Bill Doyle
Police Inspector Anthony (Tony) Pope
Alice Pope
Virginia Grey ...
Sara Alidos
Police Capt. Charlie Alidos
Robert Griffin ...
Police Sgt. James
Dennis Cross ...
Police Sgt. Jules
Jay Adler ...
Mr. Nalence
Laboratory Technician
Police Officer Spitz
Sam, Reporter
Gail Bonney ...
Mrs. London
Delivery Boy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patricia Merlin ...
Taxi Driver


Kathy is a smart and tough 1950's advice columnist at a San Francisco newspaper, with her name plastered on billboards all over the city. One day, Bill Doyle, a Los Angeles detective, walks into her office - it is instant attraction. After marrying Bill, Kathy gives up her career and becomes a homemaker. However, she is not your typical 1950's homemaker. After hosting several cocktail parties in their San Fernando Valley home, she realizes that Bill is content with his position, and shows no ambition in furthering himself. Kathy will not sit idly by while everyone around her is "moving up in the world". She personally takes upon herself the task of pushing Bill's career along, even if it comes down to murder. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The sin ... the lie ... the crime of passion. See more »


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Release Date:

9 January 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Da Ambição ao Crime  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Kathy runs her car into a pole she steps in front of the car to inspect the damage. The right front fender that bore the brunt of the impact shows it is still firmly attached. However any trace of the headlight including the hole where it would mount is missing. See more »


Alice Pope: You said, "Bill, you better go right out and get your lunch because I've just driven up Mrs Pole's telephone Pope".
See more »

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User Reviews

18 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From a sociological point of view, CRIME OF PASSION has much to offer. It is a rare instance of a film told from a very liberal (especially by 1950s standards) standpoint from this era of "I Love Lucy" doting housewives and such. Most young people today think all wives of the 1950s stood around wearing aprons and catering to their husbands. This film shows a marked contrast between what is perceived to be 1950s typical domestic life, and the quiet desperation which it may have actually hid, and how some women rebelled against the conventions of the time.

This film shockingly shows what happens to an independent woman when she is suffocated by the conventions of her time, in this case the late 1950s, when women were supposed to stay home and cook dinner for their husbands. In fact, there is a fascinating line early in the film when a police officer says just that! The film has a very clear thesis, and builds up adequately to move the viewer. Top notch in this film is the powerful performance of Barbara Stanwyck, still at her peak at this late date. The supporting cast leaves a lot to be desired (Sterling Hayden is awful, as always), the direction is merely average, and everything else is straight out of B-movie territory. That said, it is a fascinating early glimpse of feminism. It should be taught in all sociology classes.

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