7.6/10
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Detective Story (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 19 May 1952 (Denmark)
On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Philip Yordan (screenplay), Robert Wyler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Det. James McLeod
Eleanor Parker ... Mary McLeod
William Bendix ... Det. Lou Brody
Cathy O'Donnell ... Susan Carmichael
George Macready ... Karl Schneider
Horace McMahon ... Lt. Monaghan
Gladys George ... Miss Hatch
Joseph Wiseman ... Charley Gennini
Lee Grant ... Shoplifter
Gerald Mohr ... Tami Giacoppetti
Frank Faylen ... Det. Gallagher
Craig Hill ... Arthur Kindred
Michael Strong ... Lewis Abbott
Luis Van Rooten Luis Van Rooten ... Joe Feinson
Bert Freed ... Det. Dakis
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Storyline

Jim McLeod is a hard-nosed and cynical detective. He believes in a strict interpretation of the law and doesn't believe in turning the other cheek. The current object of his zealousness is Karl Schneider, an abortionist responsible for the death of several young women. Schneider's lawyer tells the precinct lieutenant that McLeod has his own personal reasons for going after his client. It turns out that his wife was a patient before they met, although Jim knew nothing of it. His world suddenly turned upside down, McLeod is too late in re-evaluating his priorities. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The love story of a man whose wife was more woman than angel!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 1952 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

William Wyler's Production of Sidney Kingsley's Detective Story See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Film debut of Lee Grant. See more »

Goofs

About 40 minutes into the film, Jim Mcleod misidentifies himself as "Dan Mcleod of W.85 St". See more »

Quotes

Detective James McLeod: I ought to fall on you like the sword of God.
Karl Schneider: That sword has two edges. You could cut your own throat.
Detective James McLeod: I'm going to give you a piece of advice, Karl. When they let you free again, get out of New York. You butcher one more patient and law or no law, I'll find you. I'll put a bullet in the back of your head, and I'll drop your body in the East River. And I'll go home and I'll sleep sweetly.
Karl Schneider: You don't frighten me. Now I'll give you some advice. I have plenty on you, too. I know why you're so ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Paramount Presents (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Wintermärchen
(uncredited)
Music by Alphons Czibulka
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice and notable adaptation based on a hit Broadway play with awesome interpretations
30 July 2005 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The film is the story of a great detective who didn't know he was trailing his own heartbreak . Brought by William Wyler , Academy Award Winner who gave ¨The best years of our lives¨ and Pulitzer Price Winner Sidney Kingsley , author of ¨Dead end¨ and featuring of the cast that made from the smash Broadway play so sensational about a love with no punches pulled . The picture talks the events at a N.Y.C. police precinct .

Excellent casting with Kirk Douglas as an angry , grumpy and violent police with obsession to imprison a doctor played by George MacReady , Eleanor Parker as the loved wife with a terrible secret , William Bendix as a good , agreeable policeman , Joseph Wiseman as a hysterical thief and Lee Grant who was prized in Cannes festival to the best female interpretation . Cameraman Lee Garmes makes an exceptional cinematography reflecting splendid images in white and black photography plenty of lights and darks , typical of noir cinema . And uncredited John F Seitz who filmed the last three weeks of production . Lee Garmes along with Nicholas Musuruca , John Seitz and John Alton cinematographers are the fundamental artifices of this expressionist cinema or ¨Film Noir¨full of dark and portentous frames . William Wyler direction is magnificent , blending documentary and police critical , he realized this exciting adaptation at a theater until the actors learned the dialog and , after that , he made a quick shooting . The film was nominated for Academy Award Winner to screenplay , Philip Yordan , Robert Wyler , (director's brother) , Eleanor Parker as main actress and Lee Grant as secondary actress . Support cast is frankly excellent such as Horace McMahon, Joseph Wiseman, Michael Strong and Lee Grant , all of them re-enacted their stage roles . Being film debut of Lee Grant and Burt Mushin .

The motion picture was compellingly directed by the great maestro William Wyler . Wyler was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema and the winner of three Best Director Academy Awards . Wyler was a great professional who had a career full of successes in all kind of genres as Film Noir : ¨Detective story¨ , ¨The desperate hours¨ , ¨Dead End¨ ; Western : ¨The Westener¨, ¨Friendly persuasion¨ , ¨Big Country¨ , but his speciality were dramas as : ¨Jezebel¨ , ¨The letter¨ , ¨Wuthering Heights¨ , ¨The best years of our lives¨, ¨Mrs Miniver¨, ¨The heiress¨ , ¨the little Foxes¨ , ¨The collector¨ and Comedy as two films starred by Audrey Hepburn : ¨How to steal a million¨ and of course ¨Roman's holiday¨ with Audrey at her Oscar-winning best and immortal comedy-romance. Furthermore , his greatest hit was the Super-Oscarized ¨Ben-Hur¨. ¨Detective story¨resulted to be a great film , nowadays very well considered . Rating : Better than average . Well worth watching .


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