5.5/10
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19 user 15 critic

The Girl in Black Stockings (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 24 September 1957 (USA)
A party girl is murdered, and everyone at a Utah motel is a suspect.

Director:

Howard W. Koch

Writers:

Richard H. Landau (screenplay) (as Richard Landau), Peter Godfrey (story "Wanton Murder")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lex Barker ... David Hewson
Anne Bancroft ... Beth Dixon
Mamie Van Doren ... Harriet Ames
Ron Randell ... Edmund Parry
Marie Windsor ... Julia Parry
John Dehner ... Sheriff Jess Holmes
John Holland ... Norman Grant
Diana Van der Vlis ... Louise Miles (as Diana Vandervlis)
Richard H. Cutting ... Dr. John Aitkin (as Richard Cutting)
Larry Chance ... Indian Joe
Gene O'Donnell Gene O'Donnell ... Joseph Felton
Gerald Frank Gerald Frank ... Frankie Pierce
Karl MacDonald Karl MacDonald ... Deputy Fred
Norman Leavitt ... Amos
Stuart Whitman ... Prentiss
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Storyline

Near a small Utah town, visiting lawyer David Hewson finds the slashed body of party girl Marcia Morgan, his fellow tenant at Parry Lodge. Sheriff Jess Holmes considers everyone at the motel a suspect, even owner Edmund Parry, a woman hater who is quadriplegic...or is he? While Holmes investigates and the suspects try to hide mutual fears, the killer strikes again... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One Will Die Tonight! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Completed in 1956, but not released until September 1957. See more »

Goofs

Felton says he's still on eastern time, 3 hours ahead. Utah is in mountain time, just 2 hours behind eastern. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff Jess Holmes: You're not unhappy about the dead girl?
Edmund Parry: [shows contempt] Unhappy? Romance on the Gold Standard. Common creature whose every word, every breath, every gesture, was the show of an empty, shallow promise. Miss Morgan was an example of completely justifiable homicide.
Sheriff Jess Holmes: Is that an opinion or a confession, Ed?
Edmund Parry: Confession? All these years, I would have given anything to use a knife to get back the youth of just one finger.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Bikers, Blondes and Blood (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550
(uncredited)
1st Movement (Molto Allegro)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

User Reviews

Motel Hell
25 October 2008 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

A lot of talent is wasted in this turgid misfire. At this point in his career, director Howard W. Koch had proved himself an efficient overseer of crime dramas-- Big House USA; Shield for Murder et al. Here however his usual expert pacing dissolves into a number of static, uninvolving scenes with way too much dialogue for a slasher film.

Then too, note the lack of reaction when suspect Frankie backs into a log-cutting machine. The sheriff (John Dehner) and his deputy merely stand there expressionless, with no help from the director, after observing what is presumably a very gory accident. My guess is that Koch took one look at the script and decided to walk through the rest.

In fact, the real problem is the script, which is about as confusing as a whodunit gets. Note the five-minute explanation Dehner has to deliver in order to tie-up loose ends in the movie's last scene. Not only is his solution as complicated as a problem in higher math, but I suspect the audience has long since lost interest, anyway. Not helping either is Ron Randell's teeth-clenching attempt to play the role of a mordantly depressed cripple. But then, who could bring off all that goofy sarcasm that the script sticks in his mouth.

The real crime is not using such ace performers as Marie Windsor and Anne Bancroft to better effect, especially Windsor whose role could have been filled by a dozen lesser actresses. Note also how sexpot Mamie Van Doren's one big high-cleavage scene is highlighted. No doubt that one showed up on all the promotion posters during the age of the busty blonde. Also wasted is the spectacularly scenic landscape around Kanab, Utah, where the movie was filmed. Instead, the action only leaves the nondescript resort grounds once, to go to the lumber mill.

In fact the whole production seems a curious affair-- almost like a bunch of Hollywood types suddenly found themselves at the same Southwestern resort and decided to shoot a movie, typing up the script each night after a heavy cocktail hour. Anyhow, whatever the backstory, the resulting film amounts to a plodding and talky misfire that likely never got closer than the farthest drive-in from town.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Stockings See more »

Filming Locations:

Kanab, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bel-Air Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

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