21 user 17 critic

The Girl in Black Stockings (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 24 September 1957 (USA)
A party girl is murdered, and everyone at a Utah motel is a suspect.


Howard W. Koch


Richard H. Landau (screenplay) (as Richard Landau), Peter Godfrey (story "Wanton Murder")




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lex Barker ... David Hewson
Anne Bancroft ... Beth Dixon
Mamie Van Doren ... Harriet Ames
John Dehner ... Sheriff Jess Holmes
Ron Randell ... Edmund Parry
Marie Windsor ... Julia Parry
John Holland ... Norman Grant
Diana Van der Vlis ... Louise Miles (as Diana Vandervlis)
Richard H. Cutting ... Dr. John Aitkin (as Richard Cutting)
Larry Chance ... Joe
Gene O'Donnell Gene O'Donnell ... Joseph Felton
Norman Leavitt ... Amos
Gerald Frank Gerald Frank ... Frankie Pierce
Stuart Whitman ... Prentiss
David Dwight David Dwight ... Judge Ben Walters


Near a small Utah town, visiting lawyer David Hewson finds the slashed body of party girl Marcia Morgan, his fellow tenant at Parry Lodge. Sheriff Jess Holmes considers everyone at the motel a suspect, even owner Edmund Parry, a woman hater who is quadriplegic...or is he? While Holmes investigates and the suspects try to hide mutual fears, the killer strikes again... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


High Society Dames For Hire! See more »


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Did You Know?


This movie was filmed in and around Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah. This lodge was opened in the early 1930s by the Parry brothers, as a place in which to lodge Hollywood film crews who came out to that area of Utah to film some of the early westerns. Over the years many famous movie stars have stayed at this lodge. See more »


Felton says he's still on eastern time, 3 hours ahead. Utah is in mountain time, just 2 hours behind eastern. See more »


Sheriff Jess Holmes: I don't have to be crazy to know I have a real crazy one on my hands.
See more »


Featured in Bikers, Blondes and Blood (1993) See more »


Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550
1st Movement (Molto Allegro)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

User Reviews

Motel Hell
25 October 2008 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

A lot of talent is wasted in this turgid misfire. At this point in his career, director Howard W. Koch had proved himself an efficient overseer of crime dramas-- Big House USA; Shield for Murder et al. Here however his usual expert pacing dissolves into a number of static, uninvolving scenes with way too much dialogue for a slasher film.

Then too, note the lack of reaction when suspect Frankie backs into a log-cutting machine. The sheriff (John Dehner) and his deputy merely stand there expressionless, with no help from the director, after observing what is presumably a very gory accident. My guess is that Koch took one look at the script and decided to walk through the rest.

In fact, the real problem is the script, which is about as confusing as a whodunit gets. Note the five-minute explanation Dehner has to deliver in order to tie-up loose ends in the movie's last scene. Not only is his solution as complicated as a problem in higher math, but I suspect the audience has long since lost interest, anyway. Not helping either is Ron Randell's teeth-clenching attempt to play the role of a mordantly depressed cripple. But then, who could bring off all that goofy sarcasm that the script sticks in his mouth.

The real crime is not using such ace performers as Marie Windsor and Anne Bancroft to better effect, especially Windsor whose role could have been filled by a dozen lesser actresses. Note also how sexpot Mamie Van Doren's one big high-cleavage scene is highlighted. No doubt that one showed up on all the promotion posters during the age of the busty blonde. Also wasted is the spectacularly scenic landscape around Kanab, Utah, where the movie was filmed. Instead, the action only leaves the nondescript resort grounds once, to go to the lumber mill.

In fact the whole production seems a curious affair-- almost like a bunch of Hollywood types suddenly found themselves at the same Southwestern resort and decided to shoot a movie, typing up the script each night after a heavy cocktail hour. Anyhow, whatever the backstory, the resulting film amounts to a plodding and talky misfire that likely never got closer than the farthest drive-in from town.

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Release Date:

24 September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Stockings See more »

Filming Locations:

Kanab, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bel-Air Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

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