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Crime of Passion (1957)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,041 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 10 critic

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.

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Title: Crime of Passion (1957)

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

When favors and fixes are bought like this ... they're paid for in violence like this ! See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 January 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Da Ambição ao Crime  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Kathy calls Alice from the phone booth and hears she is leaving for Honolulu, the reflection of the cameraman is seen all through the scene on the back window of the booth (above left Kathy's head), and it moves as the camera pulls back. See more »

Quotes

Kathy Ferguson Doyle: I hope all your socks have holes in them and I can sit for hours and hours darning them.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A hair slow at times, but really well acted and filmed. And widescreen.
7 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Crime of Passion (1957)

A gripping widescreen black and white crime film where the loner lost in a complacent world is a woman--played with steely determination by Barbara Stanwyck. In some ways this film is a familiar type, but it has some unique lines that open up as it goes until it becomes a unique tale of seduction and ambition.

You won't see Sterling Hayden better (this is around the time of his defining but more constrained role in Kubrick's "The Killing"), and throw in Raymond Burr and, believe it or not, Fay Ray (of "King Kong" fame, 1933), and you have quite a cast. It moves fast though there is some redundancy to the events sometimes--we get the idea of her ambition, for example, but they give us several examples of it instead of one good one. In general the writing is very smart and sometimes witty, in the hands of a late noir standard bearer, the woman writer Jo Eisinger.

The great dramatic photography is by legendary Joseph LaShelle, and it's all pulled together elegantly by director Gerd Oswald. Who's he? Good question...this is his most respected film (he also did the good "A Kiss Before Dying" which is streamable on Netflix). I think this is a lucky confluence of talents--Stanwyck of course, and Hayden, but also LaShelle and Burr and Eisinger.

It might be no coincidence that one of the themes, in fact the trigger for Stanwyck's change of character halfway through, is a revelation of sexual (gender) stereotypes--men play cards and silly things that sound important, and women sit in the next room not playing cards saying silly things that sound silly. At least in Eisinger's eyes. It's great stuff for 1957, and has more honesty than many later approaches to the problem. Stanwyck's solution, of course, is dubious. She plays a role she played in one of my favorite movies of hers, twenty some years earlier, in "Baby Face," where she sleeps her way to success.

A good one, late in the noir/crime era for this style, but so good it holds up well.


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