6.9/10
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27 user 11 critic

Shield for Murder (1954)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | September 1954 (USA)
When a brutal police detective Lt. murders a bookmaker's runner for $25,000 in cash, a deaf mute sees him do it, and now he finds he must kill again to cover his tracks.

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Lawrence Ryle ...
Laddie O'Neil (as Larry Ryle)
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Assistant D.A.
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Storyline

A vicious cop kills a bookie's runner and steals $25,000 from the corpse. He then frames everyone in sight in order to keep the money to buy a new home for his would-be lounge singer girlfriend. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every searing page becomes a savage scene as the best-selling shocker sledge-hammers the screen! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Freibrief für Mord  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The $25,000 Noland steals from the bookie would be the equivalent of $221,000 in 2015. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the film, when the police have been called to the scene of the shooting, a traveling shot of a responding police car shows a black and white car--no lettering saying "Police", or a city logo, or badge, or anything; just a plain black and white four-door sedan. However, when it pulls into the alley next to the crime scene and the driver gets out, the word "POLICE" in large black lettering can be seen on the door. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Capt. Gunnarson: [to police reporter] Write his story good.
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Connections

Referenced in Biography: Carolyn Jones: Morticia and More (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a shocker for sure
3 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

The poor police detectives that populated the film noirs of the early 1950s. Their suits were rumpled and they lived on whatever pittance the departments paid them. Edmond O'Brien pretty much owns the stereotype in Shield For Murder, which he also co-directed, a film that takes "hard-hitting" to new heights of violence, most notably in a scene where he pistol-whips the holy crap out Claude Aikens, who plays an enforcer for the local underground crime boss. O'Brien's character had either gradually gotten fed up with his lousy pay or was always on the take, but either way, his murder of a numbers runner and "liberation" of the $25,000 he was carrying, opens this film onto a unique level of tawdry bleakness only made possible by the lesser studios, like the one from which this highly recommended film emerged. Ostensibly, what drives O'Brien's character is a desire to provide the kind of life his girlfriend (Marla English) deserves, a nicely appointed and totally furnished tract house in the suburbs. John Agar, O'Brien's honest partner on the detective division, seems to gradually move in on Marla, coinciding with O'Brien's descent into violent desperation, capped off by a few drinks in a spaghetti bar where he meets incredible looking Carolyn Jones. Everything builds up, well-paced to the end.


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