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Nocturne (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 29 October 1946 (USA)
In 1940s Los Angeles, when womanizing composer Keith Vincent is found dead, the inquest concludes it was a suicide but police detective Joe Warne isn't so sure.


Edwin L. Marin


Jonathan Latimer (screen play), Frank Fenton (story) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
George Raft ... Police Lt. Joe Warne
Lynn Bari ... Frances Ransom
Virginia Huston ... Carol Page
Joseph Pevney ... Ned 'Fingers' Ford
Myrna Dell ... Susan Flanders
Edward Ashley ... Keith Vincent
Walter Sande ... Detective Halberson
Mabel Paige ... Mrs. Warne
Bern Hoffman Bern Hoffman ... Eric Torp (as Bernard Hoffman)
Queenie Smith ... Queenie
Mack Gray ... Gratz (as Mack Grey)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lilian Bond ... Mrs. Billings (scenes deleted)
Broderick O'Farrell ... Billings' Butler (scenes deleted)
William Wright ... Mr. Billings (scenes deleted)


Police detective Joe Warne investigates the shooting of composer Keith Vincent. Evidence points to suicide and that is the official verdict, but Joe doesn't buy it and obsessively keeps looking, tracking down one discarded love after another, despite being ordered off the case. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hollywood Glamor Murder! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 October 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nocturne See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jane Greer was considered for the lead, but Lynn Bari, who was better known at the time, was cast instead. She was borrowed from 20th Century-Fox for this film. See more »


Joe gets gunpowder residue on his left cheek below the bandage on his temple after the gun goes off when he takes the gun away from his mother's demonstration with Mrs. O'Roarke. The next time we see Joe, there is no mark or embedded gunshot residue (aka powder burn) at all, as one would expect from such an incident. See more »


Pat: [trying to push through the apartment door] Well, baby, it's been a nice evening.
Frances Ransom: [holding him back] Why not let it stay that way? Good night!
Police Lt. Joe Warne: [waiting inside apartment] That's as good a block as I ever saw. Ever thought of trying out for the Green Bay Packers?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Mack Gray (as Mack Grey) is listed in the opening credits, but not in the end credits cast of characters. See more »


References From This Day Forward (1946) See more »


A Little Bit is Better than None
Music and Lyrics by Eleanor Rudolph
Sung by Virginia Huston (dubbed by Martha Mears) (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Who ever heard of a detective not wearing a hat?
12 October 2005 | by krorieSee all my reviews

This neat little noir thriller is a rare find. The dialog is witty and clever. The acting, mainly by a second-line cast, is better than in many bigger budget movies. I was especially impressed by Myrna Dell's performance. Plus she had some of the best lines in the flick, i.e., "He was a lady killer. But don't get any ideas. I ain't no lady." Another line, "Who ever heard of a detective wearing a hat," is uttered by a dance hostess instructing Dt. Joe Warner (George Raft) who is trying to squeeze information out of her about the suicide (the audience knows it is murder)of composer Keith Vincent (Edward Ashley). Such witticisms are scattered throughout the film.

Many critics rate George Raft's performance in "Nocturne" as poor at best. But actually he plays the part fairly well as the director, producer, and writers intended for Joe Warner to be. He is a mama's boy (40's and still living with mom). He is definitely a Hitchcockian lead character - producer Joan Harrison comes in to play here. Hitchcock would take this image to its utmost realization with Norman Bates. As critics have pointed out in other IMDb reviews Joe Warner's mom (Mabel Paige) has some of the best scenes in the movie. Since he is living at home and obviously supported by his mother, Joe can afford to indulge in going his own way. He does not have a family to support. One reason he is so interested in the case is his love for music. He and his mom both play piano. In one scene he talks about spending much of his spare time attending the opera. So music and murder intertwine. "Nocturne" is appropriate as a title, not only because it is the name of the murdered's composer last composition which he had not quite finished when shot to death, but nocturne also connotes L.A. nightlife where much of the action in the film takes place. Nocturne can also be used to describe the tangled minds of many of the frequenters of the clubs and hang-outs in the film.

Some critics have mentioned that no answer is given as to why the womanizing murdered composer called all his girlfriends Delores. The writers were attempting to point out that like most womanizers, Keith Vincent was only interested in women as sex objects. A woman had no existence in his mind beyond her genitalia. He wanted sexual conquest, not commitment or any kind of romantic relationship. So to him all women had the same name. Why he chose Delores is left to the viewer to decide. Again, the influence of Joan Harrison manifests itself. Hitchcock left much to the viewer's imagination. How did James Stewart get off the roof from which he was dangling in "Vertigo?"

If you have not seen "Nocturne," you are in for a treat, one of the lost treasures of the 1940's.

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