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 »
Vivian, a B-girl working at "The Grass Skirt," is being brushed off by her rich, married boyfriend. To confront him, she hijacks drunken customer Henry Shanway and his car from Boston to Cape Cod, where she strands Henry...and is never seen again. Months later, a skeleton is found (sans clothes or clues) on a lonely Cape Cod beach. Using the macabre expertise of Harvard forensic specialist Dr. McAdoo, Lt. Pete Morales must work back from bones to the victim's identity, history, and killer. Will he succeed in time to save an innocent suspect?Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Taut, Suspenseful Crime Drama Features Great Ensemble Cast
The somewhat generic title "Mystery Street" offers no real clue as to what is contained therein, and belies the fact that this film exhibits some very contemporary themes and devices. It is partnered with "Act of Violence" on a "film noir" DVD which offers an excellent evening of entertainment from two lesser-known movies of that genre.
Ricardo Montalban plays a Portuguese-American police detective trying to piece together the clues left behind by a skeleton found buried in the sand dunes near Hyannis, Massachusetts. The proceedings are a definite precursor to TV's "C.S.I." and similar series devoted to police forensics and procedures, and a crime lab run by Bruce Bennett at Harvard University features prominently. It's no secret to the audience who the skeletal remains are, but it is for earnest, hardworking Montalban to discover for himself.
In the process, the youthful Montalban interacts with several potential suspects and witnesses, all the while treating us to his special brand of Latin charisma that made him so popular with female audiences. He's in fine form, confident and looking great in a trench coat and fedora, although sometimes his accent gets a tad in the way.
The stellar supporting cast includes fabulous Elsa Lanchester as an avaricious and corrupt landlady who soon finds herself in over her head. Her expert dramatics are priceless, and she is allowed ample screen time to flesh-out a unique character who is both compelling and repulsive. Next mention should go to beautiful Jan Sterling in a pivotal role of a cynical but desperate dance hall girl looking to strike it rich. Marshall Thompson and Sally Forrest appear as a young married couple with their share of problems and more than a few secrets. The rest of the cast is filled with great little cameo performances, most with one scene each in rapid-fire succession.
So fans of classic police drama will find much to enjoy in "Mystery Street," a movie which certainly foreshadows current trends in that genre, and gives fine actors a great showcase for their talent.
**** out of *****
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