6.7/10
178
10 user 4 critic

I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes (1948)

Approved | | Mystery, Film-Noir, Crime | 23 May 1948 (USA)
A dancer is pinned for murder after his shoe prints are found at the scene of the crime. His wife follows the trail of clues to the genuine killer.

Director:

William Nigh

Writers:

Cornell Woolrich (novel), Steve Fisher (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Castle ... Thomas J. 'Tom' Quinn
Elyse Knox ... Ann Quinn
Regis Toomey ... Police Inspector Clint Judd
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Inspector Stevens
Rory Mallinson ... Harry - 1st Detective
Robert Lowell Robert Lowell ... John L. Kosloff
Steve Darrell ... District Attorney
Bill Kennedy ... 2nd Detective
Esther Michelson Esther Michelson ... Mrs. Finkelstein
Ray Dolciame Ray Dolciame ... Shoeshine Boy
William Ruhl William Ruhl ... Police Lieutenant
John Sheehan ... Judge
John Elliott ... Mr. Lake - Tom's Lawyer (as John H. Elliott)
Dorothy Vaughan ... Mrs. Alvin
Herman Cantor Herman Cantor ... Jury Foreman
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Storyline

Tom (Don Castle) and Ann (Elyse Knox) are a down-and-out dance team, and while Don seeks engagements, Ann works as an instructor at a dance academy, with Detective Judd (Regis Toomey) one of the many customers she meets. On a hot summer night Tom, awaken from his sleep, tosses his only pair of shoes out the window to quiet two noisy cats. He goes down to retrieve them and can't find them, but Ann discovers them in front of their door the next morning. A near-by recluse is found murdered in his old shack that same day while Tom finds a wallet filled with old $20 bills. Footprints, bearing an imprint like those on a tap-dancer's shoes, plus Don's new-found wealth combine to make a good circumstantial evidence case for Judd against Tom and he is convicted. On the night before his execution, Ann seeks Judd's help in proving Tom is innocent. He turns up a suspect, Kosloff (Robert Lowell), but an air-tight alibi clears him. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

CORNELL WOOLRICH'S sizzling shocker! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Todeszelle Nr. 5 See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Piano Etude, Op. 10, No. 3 in E major, 'Tristesse'
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Unidentified recording played by prisoner #3
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good 'lost' noir
14 June 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

This film would appear to have been 'lost' since it's release in 1948, and that's a shame as while it's certainly not the best film of the 'film noir' era; it's a good one, and a lot better than many of the more popular noirs. The film features the trademark noir gloomy atmosphere, and this is excellently complimented by the shots of the city at night. The plot focuses on the idea of bad luck, as many noirs do, and the title is a lot more literal than you may think. The plot isn't full of ideas, and mostly just focuses on the central theme; which is a bonus if you ask me as it means that the director can spend more time building up the central situation and as a result; the film is ultimately more thrilling. We focus on a pair of characters; both out of luck dancers. One night, they are being kept awake by cats outside their apartment and so, as you do, he throws his shoes out the window to shut them up. He retrieves them the next day, and soon after their luck changes when he finds a wallet containing two thousand dollars. However, the police come to believe that the money belongs to a murdered man; and the husband soon comes under suspicion for the murder.

The idea that the plot focuses on is good, and the shoes of the title are the centrepiece object - which helps the film as it gives it a real sense of irony. The acting isn't the best, but all the performers do well in their respective roles. Don Castle convinces as the unlucky law abiding citizen, while Elyse Knox gets most of the plaudits for her central role as his put-upon girl. Regis Toomey, who has previously worked with the likes of Frank Capra and Alfred Hitchcock rounds off the cast nicely, and takes a lot of the focus away from Don Castle with his linchpin role. The plot plays out well, and even though the film only runs for seventy minutes; it has to be said that the film explores most of the implications of the plot, and this is always interesting since there isn't any padding. Director William Nigh does well in creating mystery and suspense, and the plot all builds to a satisfying and somewhat shocking conclusion that sees all the characters get a fitting comeuppance. Overall, this isn't a great film, noir; but it's well worth seeing and hopefully it'll be uncovered soon and given a DVD release!


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