A police sergeant kills a man who pulls a gun on him during a stakeout. But the dead suspect is a respected doctor with no criminal record and the man's gun cannot be found, and the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sgt. Tom Valens
...
Capt. Roy Klodin
...
Sgt. Ed Musso
...
Frank Sanderman
...
Alice Willows
...
Liz Thayer
...
Mrs. Doris Ruston
...
Walt Cody
...
...
Perry Knowland
...
Paul Jerez
...
Joanie Valens
...
Orville Ames
...
Designer
David Garfield ...
Police Surgeon (as John Garfield Jr.)
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Storyline

A police sergeant kills a man who pulls a gun on him during a stakeout. But the dead suspect is a respected doctor with no criminal record and the man's gun cannot be found, and the sergeant is charged with manslaughter. The sergeant works to clear his name and determine where the gun went and why the doctor was there at all. Written by Sean Taylor <st52@cornell.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

neo noir | based on novel | See All (2) »

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Gun, Gun, Who's Got the Gun? Is It Here? Is It Here? Is It Here? See more »

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

18 January 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Todesschuß  »

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Donald Curtis. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Doris Ruston: We're two of a kind, Mr. Valens, remember, two losers. And according to an old Chinese proverb, when you rub two losers together, sometimes you get surprises... sometimes even fire.
Sgt. Tom Valens: I'm a sore loser, Mrs. Ruston... a sore loser.
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User Reviews

 
A shot in the Dark
21 December 2005 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** Practically unknown and forgotten little gem staring David Janssen as LA policeman Sgt. Tom Valens a cop who's been trying to get his nerve back since he came back on duty from an almost fatal gunshot wound.

Staking out the Seacape Apartment Complex one foggy evening for an on the loose serial murder Tom and his partner Sgt. Ed Mussco, Keenan Wynn,see this man sneaking along the complex swimming pool. Valens confronting the man and telling him to halt has him pulls a gun out of his jacket and is shot dead by the the undercover policeman.

Checking out his wallet the dead man turned out to be the respected Dr. James Ruston, Donald Curtis,a pillar of the community a philanthropist and champion of the poor and downtrodden in the L.A Mexican community and former Man of the Year of San Roserio to who's people he's considered to be a saint. Not finding Dr. Ruston's gun that Tom says he pulled on him has Sgt. Tom Valens suspended from the police force and set to be tried for manslaughter in Dr. Ruston's death.

The movie goes through a number of side stories about Dr. Ruston and the people who knew him including Mrs. Alice Willows, Lillian Gish, who Dr.Ruston was seeing the evening that he was shot and killed. Tom trying to get to the bottom of Dr. Ruston's strange actions that night comes across in number of contradicting facts about about Dr. Ruston that has to do mostly with his trips to Baja Mexico to help the poor there every Wendsday and then his seeing Mrs. Willows, making weekly night house calls to her, the next evening on a Thusrday?

Mrs Willows seems to have a advanced case of Alzheimer's and can't help Tom in his trying to find the reasons for Dr. Ruston's visits to her besides her diabetic condition, which didn't need his immediate attention. There's also the fact that Dr. Ruston was the person who got the old and senile Mrs. Willows the apartment at the Seacape Complex; was the man that much of a saint or were there far more cynical reasons behind his actions?

With his incitement imminent Sgt. Valens needs to find evidence to prove his innocence, by first finding Dr.Ruston's missing gun, before he's locked up behind bars. It dawns on Sgt. Valens that there's a connection to Dr. Ruston's trips to Baja that lead to his strange actions of him getting shot and killed but what exactly is it? There's also the fact that Dr. Ruston almost broke and bankrupt three years ago is now independently wealthy with no evidence of him having falling into any large inheritance so just where did Dr, Ruston's money come from? his many philanthropic ventures to and from Baja Mexico?

Things get even worse for Sgt, Valens when after seeing Dr. Ruston's secretary Liz Thayler, Stepanie Powers, she's later found murdered and he's the prime, and only, suspect in her death. There's also an attempt to murder Valens at his home by spiking his bottle of butter milk, medication for is ulcers because of him getting shot,and then turning on the gas range while he was out cold.

With Sgt. Valens and Mrs Willows next door neighbor, and his friend and licensed pilot, Walt Cody, George Grizzaed, planing to fly down to Baja to uncover Dr. Ruston's secret activities Valens suddenly changes his mind after Liz's murder realizing that the evidence to clear himself is not in Baja Mexico but right here in L.A County.

That night with an all out city and state police search for him, in both Dr. Ruston & Liz Thayers deaths, Sgt. Tom Valens goes to the spooky and deserted L.A's "Eternal Rest" Pet Cemetery to dig up the evidence that not only will clear his name, form pending manslaughter and murder charges, but his consciences as well.


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