6.5/10
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44 user 15 critic

Crime of Passion (1957)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 21 January 1957 (UK)
Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.

Director:

Gerd Oswald

Writer:

Jo Eisinger (original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Kathy Doyle
Sterling Hayden ... Bill Doyle
Raymond Burr ... Tony Pope
Fay Wray ... Alice Pope
Virginia Grey ... Sara Alidos
Royal Dano ... Charlie Alidos
Robert Griffin ... Detective James
Dennis Cross Dennis Cross ... Detective Jules
Jay Adler ... Nalence
Stuart Whitman ... Laboratory Technician
Malcolm Atterbury ... Officer Spitz
Robert Quarry ... Reporter
Gail Bonney ... Mrs. London
Joe Conley ... Delivery Boy
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Storyline

Kathy is a smart and tough 1950's advice columnist at a San Francisco newspaper, with her name plastered on billboards all over the city. One day, Bill Doyle, a Los Angeles detective, walks into her office - it is instant attraction. After marrying Bill, Kathy gives up her career and becomes a homemaker. However, she is not your typical 1950's homemaker. After hosting several cocktail parties in their San Fernando Valley home, she realizes that Bill is content with his position, and shows no ambition in furthering himself. Kathy will not sit idly by while everyone around her is "moving up in the world". She personally takes upon herself the task of pushing Bill's career along, even if it comes down to murder. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The stripped-of-shame story of a cop's wife who committed one sin too many! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 January 1957 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Story See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last film noir roles of both Barbara Stanwyck and Raymond Burr. It also comes towards the ends of their film careers in general. Both would soon transition to working primarily in television and appearing only occasionally in movies. Burr notably moved from the villainous characters he often portrayed in films to long-running success as the heroic defense attorney in Perry Mason (1957). See more »

Goofs

When Kathy calls Alice from the phone booth and hears she is leaving for Honolulu, the reflection of the cameraman is seen all through the scene on the back window of the booth (above left Kathy's head), and it moves as the camera pulls back. See more »

Quotes

Bill Doyle: [after just getting married and arriving at their new home] Well, what do you think of the neighborhood?
Kathy Doyle: Right now, I'm not thinking about the... neighborhood.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
None Too Steamy
7 May 2002 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

For a movie with the word passion in the title this modest 1957 noir wannabe never builds up a head of steam. It tells the tale of a successful San Francisco Dear Abby-type columnist who inexplicably falls in love with a taciturn, unambitious police officer from Los Angeles. After a whirlwind romance, these two lovebirds settle down to a life of dull domesticity in L.A. Though the woman has given up her writing career, she soon finds that she's too intelligent and ambitious to be a housewife. She encourages her husband to seek advancement in the police department, but politics isn't his thing. He likes being where he is. Rather than do the smart thing, and return to writing, the woman becomes a meddler, and in time gets into deep personal doo-doo.

There's nothing in this movie that hasn't been done before and better. It doesn't feel like an independent production from the late fifties but rather like an RKO thriller from six or seven years earlier. And not one of the better ones. Director Gerd Oswald has proved himself elsewhere to be at times a superb craftsman, but Jo Eisingers by the numbers script conspire with mediocre production values to defeat him. And down he goes. What makes the movie somewhat watchable is the acting. Barbara Stanwyck gives her all to the role of a career woman who, though smart enough, maybe lacks the experience to see that the average joe she falls for, though amiable in his gruff way, is simply not the man for her. I find her performance believable. As her hubby, the towering Sterling Hayden, he of the sullen expression and morose, inexplicably angry line readings, is likewise okay, though I sense that he's not always focused on his acting. I've seen him do tighter work. In a smaller but pivotal role Raymond Burr is his usual polite, somewhat impassive, inscrutable self, bringing authority and, well, weight, to his role as Hayden's superior. Interestingly, all three performers were nearing the end of a particular phase of his career. Stanwyck was soon to quit movies for television, and when she returned it was as a character actress. Hayden was just about to quit movies, too, though like Stanwyck he would go on to interesting things later. And Burr was soon to triumph on television as Perry Mason, leaving behind a decade's worth of good character work in film, of which this is one of the last examples.


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