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Naked Alibi (1954)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 19 January 1955 (UK)
A chief of police detectives fired for brutality, tries to get evidence on a man suspected of killing 3 of his officers.


Jerry Hopper


Lawrence Roman (screenplay), J. Robert Bren (story "Cry Copper") | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Sterling Hayden ... Chief Joe Conroy
Gloria Grahame ... Marianna
Gene Barry ... Al Willis
Marcia Henderson ... Helen Willis
Max Showalter ... Det. Lt. Fred Parks (as Casey Adams)
Billy Chapin ... Petey
Chuck Connors ... Capt. Owen Kincaide
Don Haggerty ... Matt Matthews
Stuart Randall ... Chief A.S. Babcock
Don Garrett Don Garrett ... Tony
Richard Beach Richard Beach ... Felix
Tol Avery ... Irish
Paul Levitt Paul Levitt ... Gerald Frazier
Fay Roope Fay Roope ... Commissioner F.J. O'Day
Joseph Mell ... Otto Stoltz


Questioned as a murder suspect, solid (but drunk) citizen Al Willis attacks his police questioners, is beaten, and swears vengeance against them. Next night, Lieut. Parks is murdered; Willis is the only suspect in the eyes of tough Chief Conroy, who pursues him doggedly despite lack of evidence. The obsessed Conroy is dismissed from the force, but continues to harass Willis, who flees to a sleazy town on the Mexican border. Of course, Conroy follows. But which is crazy, Conroy or Willis? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Cop, The Killer and the Border Town Woman! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The sleazy bar is called El Perico, which means "The Parrot" or "Parakeet". See more »


When Joe phones Matt from Border City, he makes it a collect call. But when Matt answers, they begin speaking immediately, without the operator first asking if he would accept the charges. See more »


Chief Joe Conroy: Are you in the habit of hauling in cut-up strangers?
Marianna: Yeah. It's a hobby with me.
See more »


Referenced in 21 Jump Street: The Worst Night of Your Life (1987) See more »


Written by Cole Porter
Performed by Gloria Grahame (dubbed by Jo Ann Greer)
See more »

User Reviews

Good Sterling Hayden Police Drama
21 November 2017 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Sterling Hayden was the image of male masculinity in such films as "The Asphalt Jungle," "The Killing," and "The Godfather." Tall at 6 foot 5 inches, well built, ruggedly handsome in the true sense, Hayden rarely cracked a smile or betrayed a tender emotion. He had screen presence, and that strong image serves him well in 1954's "Naked Alibi." Hayden is Chief of Detectives Joe Conroy, who has been accused of police brutality, an easily believable offense. When Al Willis, a local baker, is pulled in and roughed up by his subordinates, Hayden looks on impassively. Played by Gene Barry, Willis has a devoted wife and a child; his arrest is evidently wrongful, and he is released. When the policeman who roughed up Willis is shot later that night, Hayden immediately hones in on Willis as guilty.

With a screenplay by Laurence Roman from a story by J. Robert Bren and Gladys Atwater, "Naked Alibi" plays with the audience. When the police come to arrest Willis after the fatal shooting, he runs, but is caught and brought in again. However, without evidence and under pressure from above, Hayden is forced to release Willis one more time. When two more officers are killed in a bomb blast, Hayden tails and harasses the sympathetic Willis, who seems intent on managing his bakery, tending his family, and remaining a model citizen. However, when Hayden is caught in a photo assaulting Willis, he is fired from the force. Undaunted and convinced by gut instinct of Willis's guilt, Hayden follows Willis, when he unexpectedly leaves town and goes to sleazy Border Town, where, in El Perico, a local dive, pouty singer Gloria Grahame appears on the scene as Marianna, and, to coin a phrase, the plot thickens and starts to boil.

The action unfolds against the deep shadows and dramatic lighting of Russell Metty's cinematography, which provides some stunning black and white images. Surprisingly produced by Ross Hunter, the man usually behind lush Lana Turner weepies, "Naked Alibi" is well paced by director Jerry Hopper, who went on to become a prolific director on television. However, the film belongs to Sterling Hayden. Tough and brutal, Hayden is central to the film's success, although Gloria Grahame is also excellent, and Gene Barry is appropriately ambiguous in the pivotal role of Willis. As a bonus, fans of "The Rifleman" will be pleased to spot Chuck Connors in a small role as a police captain. While not at the heights of the best Sterling Hayden classics, "Naked Alibi" is nonetheless a crackling police pursuit drama that engages and entertains.

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Release Date:

19 January 1955 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tight Squeeze See more »

Filming Locations:

Reseda, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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