6.8/10
298
14 user 6 critic

Strange Bargain (1949)

Sam Wilson is having a hard time making ends meet. When he asks his boss for a raise, he finds out that the company is closing down and he'll be out of a job. His boss decides to commit ... See full summary »

Director:

Will Price

Writers:

Lillie Hayward (screenplay), J.H. Wallis (based on a story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Martha Scott ... Georgia Wilson
Jeffrey Lynn ... Sam Wilson
Harry Morgan ... Lt. Richard Webb (as Henry Morgan)
Katherine Emery ... Edna Jarvis
Richard Gaines ... Malcolm Jarvis
Henry O'Neill ... Timothy Hearne
Walter Sande ... Sgt. Cord
Michael Chapin ... Roddy Wilson
Arlene Gray ... Hilda Wilson
Raymond Roe ... Sydney Jarvis
Robert Bray ... Det. McTay
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Storyline

Sam Wilson is having a hard time making ends meet. When he asks his boss for a raise, he finds out that the company is closing down and he'll be out of a job. His boss decides to commit suicide so that his family can benefit from his insurance. He asks Sam to help make it look like murder. Sam thinks he has convinced the boss not to commit suicide. But the boss does it anyway, so Sam follows the instructions the boss had given him, to make it look like murder. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"$10,000 If You Make My Suicide Look Like MURDER!"

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Compromisso de Honra See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The episode Murder, She Wrote: The Days Dwindle Down (1987) was done as a direct sequel to this movie, with Jessica Fletcher trying to figure out if Malcolm Jarvis' death was suicide or murder. In the episode, Jeffrey Lynn, Martha Scott, and Harry Morgan reprised their roles from the earlier film, and original footage from the film was used as flashbacks to tell the story. See more »

Connections

Edited into Murder, She Wrote: The Days Dwindle Down (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting low-budget mystery starring Jeffrey Lynn...
30 July 2010 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

When JEFFREY LYNN had to leave his career during WWII for the armed services, it seemed to cut into whatever momentum he had built up at Warner Brothers. By the time he did STRANGE BARGAIN for RKO, his dwindling career wasn't exactly in high gear. Nevertheless, he gives a good performance here as a man unwillingly caught up in a chain of events that almost lands him in a great deal of trouble.

He's an assistant bookkeeper at a law firm that is going through hard times. On the day that he gets up enough courage to ask for a raise, he's told that because of all the cuts being made, he has to be let go. His boss, however, has a strange bargain to make with him and that's the nub of the story without giving any more of the plot away.

MARTHA SCOTT is fine as his loving wife who never suspects anything is wrong until she makes a certain discovery. HARRY MORGAN is the detective who knows something isn't quite right when Lynn's boss is found not a victim of suicide, as had been planned, but a victim of murder. KATHERINE EMERY, an interesting actress who had been used well in THE LOCKET, has a pivotal role as the dead man's widow but plays the role so stiffly that it's not easy to believe the film's ending.

It's a story that catches interest from the start and maintains that suspense throughout. JEFFREY LYNN, never an actor given to much emotion, is calm and stalwart as the innocent victim of circumstances beyond his control.

A B-film worth catching if you can.


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