5.9/10
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Footsteps in the Night (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery | 14 April 1957 (USA)
A gambling addict is the logical suspect in the death of a card-playing neighbor who caused his relapse - too logical, think the two detectives on the case.

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Eleanore Tanin ...
Mary Raiken
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Henry Johnson
...
Mr. Bradbury
...
Pat Orvello
...
Dick Harris, Sunset Villa
Ann Griffith ...
June Wright
...
Fred Horner
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Storyline

The fifth and last of the Ben Schwab productions starring Bill Elliott as a L.A. sheriff's department detective begins with Henry Johnson being sought by the sheriff's office for the murder of his neighbor and friend,Fred Horner, whose strangled body was found in Johnson's motel apartment. Lieutenant Andy Doyle of the Los Angeles sheriff's department learns that Johnson had been an avid card-playing gambler, and had frequently argued violently with the deceased. Trailing Johnson's fiancée, Mary Raikin, the police capture Johnson, who insists he did not kill Horner, but fled in panic when he discovered Johnson's body in his room after an absence of only a few minutes. It is discovered that a wealthy tenant of an adjacent motel, Bradbury, bears a resemblance to the murdered man, and in order to set him up as a decoy, Doyle suggests the Bradbury spread the word he is leaving for his home the next day. That night, the real killer,Pat Orvello, sneaks into Bradbury's room to rob him, but is... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Plot Keywords:

detective | murder | See All (2) »

Taglines:

The Curious Case of the Careless Strangler!

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Release Date:

14 April 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night Target  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Trivia

This five-film series of detective movies used Nash automobiles in the first four films. In 1957 American Motors Corp. made its Rambler a separate marque and began a phase-out of its Nash and Packard models. In this film the Nash automobiles were replaced by Fords. See more »

Connections

Follows Chain of Evidence (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gambler Douglas Dick is under suspicion for murdering Robert Shayne
24 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The "Footsteps in the Night" are those of a murderer who silently strangles Robert Shayne using cord while Douglas Dick is out getting ice for their drinks. Shayne, a miser, has been losing steadily to Dick, who is trying to overcome a gambling addiction. Their loud argument, heard in the rest of the motel, is just one more piece of evidence against Dick. He runs. His fiancée, Eleanore Tanin, urges him to turn himself in. No dice.

Meamwhile, Det. Lt. Andy Doyle (Bill Elliott) is on the case, this time assisted by Don Haggerty. This time around, Elliott's instincts tell him to keep an open mind about Dick, who Haggerty thinks is guilty. At the midpoint of the story, Elliott comes up with a novel theory and pursues it.

Douglas Dick, now 93, is not a well-known actor, but once you know who he is and recognize him, you will see that he is distinctive. He was the young man seducing Loretta Young in "The Accused". He did a lot of TV work up until 1971. His work here lifts this movie. So does that of the victim, veteran character actor Robert Shayne, a b-player best known for playing the police inspector in the original TV "Adventures of Superman". Otherwise this low-budget film rings in veteran actors whom one knows by sight, such as James Flavin, who appears here as a garrulous businessmen induced to play decoy. Flavin appeared in a great many small roles in a career spanning 1932 to 1976 (he has almost 500 credits). The bartender in this movie is also recognizable. He's Ralph Sanborn with 250 credits.

My original copy of this film ran short by about 6-7 minutes, and one clear cut was between the time when the murderer escapes the trap and the police are back at the station congratulating themselves at his capture. The chase and capture were missing. I have since gotten the Warner Brothers Archive complete and widescreen copy of this and the other films in this series. They are gorgeous!

This story doesn't really catch fire, but there are those who will still value it, such as b-movie fans, Elliott fans, very minor noir completists, minor mystery fans, and those who like to identify those supporting actors who keep popping up in these old films.


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