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Please Murder Me! (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 March 1956 (USA)
A lawyer suffers a guilt complex after getting a murder acquittal for his client, and then finding out she did commit the crime.

Director:

Peter Godfrey

Writers:

Al C. Ward (screenplay), Donald Hyde (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Myra Leeds
Raymond Burr ... Craig Carlson
Dick Foran ... Joe Leeds
John Dehner ... Ray Willis
Lamont Johnson Lamont Johnson ... Carl Holt
Robert Griffin ... Lou Kazarian
Denver Pyle ... Lieut. Bradley
Alex Sharp Alex Sharp ... The Sergeant
Lee Miller Lee Miller ... The Patrolman
Madge Blake ... Jenny
Russell Thorson ... The Judge (as Russ Thorson)
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Storyline

A lawyer wins an acquittal for his client, a woman accused of murder. After the verdict, he finds out that she indeed did commit the murder and manipulated him to win her acquittal. Guilt-ridden, and knowing that she can't be tried again for the murder, he devises a plan to bring her to justice. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE DEADLIEST PACT EVER MADE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is one of Lamont Johnson's last movies as an actor before becoming a full-time director. See more »

Quotes

Myra Leeds: I'll just have a coke if you don't mind, my husband doesn't like me to drink during the day. He thinks it's a bad habit to get into; alcohol I mean.
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Connections

Featured in Hangman (2016) See more »

User Reviews

 
An almost lost little Film Noir with some important aspects
7 July 2009 | by eschetic-2See all my reviews

It's a pity this little (apparently independent?) film noir has not merited a decent restoration and DVD reissue (no one apparently bothered to renew the copyright so scratchy prints were out for a while in 1995 on VHS on "Nostalgia Family Video" and it has been anthologized in a DVD box of "13 Murder Movies"), because the elements in the film are considerably above the "B" film it's usually assumed to be and later work of those involved would be undeniably important. It isn't a great film, but given those elements, it certainly is an interesting one.

The basic flashback form of the story telling is an echo almost too close for comfort of 1944's classic DOUBLE INDEMNITY - with the characters dictating the explanation bound for similar fates; in fact, in the film's chief failing, the original ad campaign for PLEASE MURDER ME! gave away virtually every aspect of the plot, leaving audiences only the enjoyment of *how* the characters got where they had been told the characters were going. There were no surprises.

Top billed (her first role in that position?) Angela Lansbury was in the middle of a long and (mostly) distinguished movie career mainly playing "bad girls" - years before her Broadway and television career nearly eclipsed her earlier 100+ films - except perhaps for her definitive evil mother in MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. She appeared to be taking a break from small but important roles in major studio films to see if she could carry a lead herself in this independent. PLEASE MURDER ME! didn't get her major studio leads, but her supporting roles in everything from THE RELUCTANT DEBUTANTE to BLUE HAWAII continued to be either out of the top drawer or she made them seem they were until she decamped for Broadway and the lead in the musical MAME which forever changed HER career.

Third billed Dick Foran had had the lead in a wartime revival of Rogers & Hart's A CONNECTICUT YANKEE on Broadway, but had mostly switched over from Hollywood roles in minor films to TV work by this shot at an important role in PLEASE MURDER ME!, but it was RAYMOND BURR, perennial film heavy (his greatest movie role was almost certainly the husband across the way in Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW two years before, who was also working more and more in TV who really made PLEASE MURDER ME! memorable.

It is almost certain that it was this role which got Burr his big shot as TV's PERRY MASON the next year. It may even have been a knowing tryout. He was nothing like the 1930's movie Perry Mason, the suave if slightly oily Warren William who was closer to the Perry Mason which Erle Stanley Gardner actually wrote, but watch Burr playing attorney Craig Carlson in PLEASE MURDER ME! It's the full blown Mason 20+ years of TV viewers would get to know intimately. All the mannerisms and line readings are there. Rather than the stock "heavy" which had been Burr's trademark, this was a persona of warmth and trust that anchors the film and makes the slightly strained story believable.

One can only hope that one of the ongoing DVD issues of PERRY MASON TV seasons will eventually pick up the public domain PLEASE MURDER ME! as a "bonus" feature - despite Attorney Carlson's position at the final fade out, it clearly belongs as part of the Burr/Mason canon.

In the mean time, I'm glad IMDb provides links to the film on the "Internet Archive" for those who can't find one of the PD releases. It's worth a look.

Fascinating.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mata-me Por Favor See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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