While his wife is urging him to quit the force, a Los Angeles homicide detective hunts for the killer responsible for the murder of his ex-partner, who might have been on the take with local bookies.


Roy Rowland


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





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


Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan, who apparently was moonlighting as a guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are being robbed, upsetting 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. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Be there when it happens! (Posters).


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This was the final film for producer Harry Rapf, ending a career of over thirty years and over eighty films. He died one week into principle photography on February 6, 1949. See more »


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 »


Pontiac: I'm no Humphrey Bogart. He gets slugged and he's ready for action. I get slugged and I'm ready for pickling.
See more »


Referenced in Why Women Kill: Scene of the Crime (2021) See more »


Music by André Previn
Lyrics by William Katz
Sung (with reverse striptease) by Gloria DeHaven
See more »

User Reviews

Scene of a Good Action Flick
27 July 2005 | by krorieSee all my reviews

This is a very entertaining look at big city cops and robbers with shades of film noir showing though. The standout performance in a potentially femme fatale role is Gloria DeHaven. I suspect the writers, John Bartlow Martin and Charles Schnee, along with director Roy Rowland, had experiences with untrustworthy women, for Lili (Gloria DeHaven) could turn any man's heart to putty, then fool him over and over. Van Johnson too turns in a subdued performance which is called for in the character (Mike Conovan) he plays. Conovan's very liberal wife, especially for 1949, is played by Arlene Dahl, who is fed up with the demands of her husband's job but who also trusts her husband to be with a vixen and still stay true to her. This is an effective counterbalance to the untrustworthiness of Lili. Great supporting roles abound filled with standout performances from John McIntire's "too old to cut the mustard" part all the way to the Sleeper, Norman Lloyd. Yuk, Yuk, it's great. There is a lot of realistic blood and guts thrown in complete with car chases that foretell things to come in action movies. Heat up some popcorn, get a cold one, then sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Release Date:

19 December 1949 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Scene of the Crime See more »


Box Office


$761,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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