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The Guilty (1947)

Approved | | Film-Noir, Mystery | 22 March 1947 (USA)
Two guys, sharing an apartment, meet twin girls (both Bonita Granville). One's sweet, the other a major piece of bad news. The nice one is murdered and her boyfriend is accused of the crime. The wrong man-wrong victim plot strikes again.


John Reinhardt


Robert Presnell Sr. (screenplay), Cornell Woolrich (story "He Looked Like Murder")


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Complete credited cast:
Bonita Granville ... Estelle Mitchell / Linda Mitchell
Don Castle ... Mike Carr
Regis Toomey ... Detective Heller
John Litel ... Alex Tremholt
Wally Cassell ... Johnny Dixon
Thomas E. Jackson ... Tim McGinnis
Netta Packer ... Mrs. Mitchell
Oliver Blake ... Jake, the janitor
Carol Andrews Carol Andrews ... Leonola Waters (as Caroline Andrews)


Two guys, sharing an apartment, meet twin girls (both Bonita Granville). One's sweet, the other a major piece of bad news. The nice one is murdered and her boyfriend is accused of the crime. The wrong man-wrong victim plot strikes again.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

twin | flashback | murder | See All (3) »


SISTERS... one led men to love... the other drove them to kill!


Film-Noir | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 March 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Error fatal See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The score was written by Rudy Schrager, an immensely talented composer who's been all-but forgotten. (His "Gunsmoke" scores are required listening for any movie-music fan.) When, after WWII, the union representing film composers prohibited them from writing TV music, Schrager and several other composers had some of their film scores re-orchestrated and recorded in Europe. Schrager, et al, could then be paid for their work when this "laundered" music was used in TV shows - one of which was "Adventures of Superman". See more »


After knocking Dixon out, Carr revives him by throwing a glass of water in his face--and completely misses. See more »


Mike Carr: Who'd want to look at his girl for the rest of his life and be reminded of murder?
See more »

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User Reviews

Sleazy production enhances Cornell Woolrich tale of twins - one bad, the other dead
27 July 2003 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

In 1946, Olivia De Havilland donned monogram brooches and identity necklaces to take the dual role of good and bad twins Ruth and Terry in Robert Siodmak's The Dark Mirror. The following year Bonita Granville followed suit, as good and bad twins Linda and Estelle, in Monogram's sub-basement adaptation of a Cornell Woolrich story. Of the two, The Guilty is the creepier, more haunting movie, taking a place of dubious honor amid the nether reaches of film noir.

Mustachioed Don Castle shares his walk-up flat with his superior from army days, Wally Cassel, who's a little unstable owing to a head injury sustained in combat. They're involved in a complicated foursome with the twins; when one of the fellows breaks up with one of the girls, the other takes up with the ditched sister. But the insanely jealous Estelle keeps playing one guy off the other; she wants both and her sister to have neither. One night Linda disappears; later her body is found on a rooftop, in a barrel of gravel (she was too big to shove down the incinerator shaft). Police investigator Regis Toomey encounters a baffling maze of alibis and false clues (Castle is on the hunt as well), until the movie ends with climaxes within climaxes.

All this takes place in but three sleazy sets: The men's apartment; that of the twins, their mother and a long-time boarder (John Litel); and a corner bar from which most of the story is narrated in flashback. A few forays into the dark, deserted streets only enhance the claustrophobia, the obsessiveness of Woolrich's nightmare vision. (And his obsessive fiction reuses the same themes and gambits over and over; there are parallels here to the same year's The Fall Guy, which resembles The Black Angel, which...).

Granville, of course, will ever be the screen embodiment of Nancy Drew, from the four programmers she starred in as the teenaged sleuth during the late '30s. Her career started to sputter in the next decade; for one thing her girlish exuberance didn't blossom into womanly glamor. But she developed a tough, no-nonsense, very-'40s face (not unlike Ann Savage's). Her noir appearances were limited to a small (but meaty) role in The Glass Key and a leading one in the low-budget Suspense. It's a shame, because grew up into quite a good bad girl.

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