6.6/10
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24 user 6 critic

Scene of the Crime (1949)

Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Rowland

Writers:

John Bartlow Martin (story "Smashing the Bookie Gang Marauders"), Charles Schnee (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Johnson ... Mike Conovan
Arlene Dahl ... Gloria Conovan
Gloria DeHaven ... Lili
Tom Drake ... Detective 'C.C.' Gordon
Leon Ames ... Police Captain A.C. Forster
John McIntire ... Detective Fred Piper
Donald Woods ... Bob Herkimer
Norman Lloyd ... Sleeper
Jerome Cowan ... Arthur Webson
Tom Powers ... Umpire Menafoe
Richard Benedict ... Turk Kingby
Anthony Caruso ... Tony Rutzo
Robert Gist ... P.J. Pontiac
Romo Vincent ... Hippo
Tom Helmore ... Norrie Lorfield
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Storyline

Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are being robbed, most upsetting to the racket bosses who can't get normal police protection. Mike encounters blind alleys and double crosses, and is distracted by his wife's growing disenchantment. Lots of police slang. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Be there when it happens! (Posters).


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1949 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cena do Crime See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$761,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This noirish crime drama was an unusual genre for MGM, and especially for its stars, Van Johnson and Gloria DeHaven. It reflected the influence of new production chief Dore Schary who had recently moved from RKO. In only a few years, Schary would replace Louis B. Mayer. See more »

Goofs

When Detective Piper introduces the young man that sold the .38 S&W revolver to the cop killer to detective Conovan the man says he sold the gun to a man in a bar. Conovan then grills the man about his getting a lousy eighty bucks for the gun that killed his former partner. But at no time did the man mention getting eighty bucks for the gun. See more »

Quotes

Mike Conovan: [to Lili, who had used her charm and good looks to dupe him] You know, when a girl has the looks that you have, it's hard to really see her. But that's no excuse for the mistake I made about ya'. No excuse... just an explanation.
See more »


Soundtracks

I'M A GOODY-GOODY GIRL
(uncredited)
Music by André Previn
Lyrics by William Katz
Sung (with partial striptease) by Jean Carter
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I know you know I know you know something!
11 July 2015 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Scene of the Crime is directed by Roy Rowland and adapted to screenplay by Charles Schnee from the story " Smashing the Bookie Gang Members" written by John Bartlow Martin. It stars Van Johnson, Arlene Dahl, Gloria DeHaven, Tom Drake, John McIntire and Leon Ames. Music is by André Previn and cinematography by Paul Vogel.

When a fellow detective is gunned down in suspicious circumstances, Mike Conovan (Johnson) decided to dig a little deeper...

Only fools bet horses - fools keep me prosperous.

A rough and tough noir piece this one. It finds MGM jumping onto the noir bandwagon and putting golden boy Van Johnson forward as a hardboiled hero, and it works. In essence it's about a cop who is disillusioned with his job and faces static at home from his lovingly concerned wife (Dahl). Circumstance drags him into the fray, thus risking everything in life he holds dear, but hell bent on cracking the case and bringing to justice crooks and killers, he ploughs right on in to the frying pan.

Yuk Yuk Yuk.

Pic is in keeping with the Dragnet type of cop films that were so productive in the era. So we get plenty of dry conversations and verbal jousting, splendidly scripted by Schneee who gives thought to the various characterisations. Violence is never far away to add an edge to the standard plotting, while it's sexy and romantic in equal measure - poor Johnson has an adoring Dahl waiting at home for him, while sultry stripper Lili (DeHaven) is all over him when he goes incognito on the case.

Dead Pigeon.

Characters all have solitary nicknames, such as Piper (McIntire ace with a tongue as sharp as a knife), Sleeper, CC, Turk and Hippo. There's Bogart references to keep you tuned into the world the pic is operating out of, and the black and white photography, though short on thematic chiaroscuro, keeps the hardboiled atmosphere on the high heat. Cast are uniformly on song, delivering the spiky dialogue with a rich dryness beloved by fans of such fare, and the mystery element has a strong enough current to pull you in for the finale. Good stuff for the discerning fans. 8/10


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