6.6/10
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24 user 8 critic

Scene of the Crime (1949)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 19 December 1949 (UK)
While his wife is urging him to quit the force, a Los Angeles homicide detective hunts for the killer responsible for the murder of his ex-partner, who might have been on the take with local bookies.

Director:

Roy Rowland

Writers:

John Bartlow Martin (story "Smashing the Bookie Gang Marauders"), Charles Schnee (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Johnson ... Mike Conovan
Arlene Dahl ... Gloria Conovan
Gloria DeHaven ... Lili (as Gloria De Haven)
Tom Drake ... C.C.
Leon Ames ... Captain A.C. Forster
John McIntire ... Fred Piper
Donald Woods ... Herkimer
Norman Lloyd ... Sleeper
Jerome Cowan ... Webson
Tom Powers ... Umpire Menafoe
Richard Benedict ... Turk Kingby
Anthony Caruso ... Tony Rutzo
Robert Gist ... Pontiac
Romo Vincent ... Hippo
Tom Helmore ... Norrie Lorfield
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Photos

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Storyline

Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan, who apparently was moonlighting as a guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are being robbed, upsetting the racket bosses who can't get normal police protection. Mike encounters blind alleys and double crosses and is distracted by his wife's growing disenchantment. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Be there when it happens! (Posters).


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A realistic movie in that when the man shoots a pump action shotgun from the second floor and the shotgun jams-that is realism. See more »

Goofs

When Detective Piper introduces the young man that sold the .38 S&W revolver to the cop killer to detective Conovan the man says he sold the gun to a man in a bar. Conovan then grills the man about his getting a lousy eighty bucks for the gun that killed his former partner. But at no time did the man mention getting eighty bucks for the gun. See more »

Quotes

Pontiac: Lili, a sizzler at the Fol-de-Rol. A figure like champagne and a heart like the cork.
See more »


Soundtracks

I'M A GOODY-GOODY GIRL
(uncredited)
Music by André Previn
Lyrics by William Katz
Sung (with partial striptease) by Jean Carter
See more »

User Reviews

 
Film noir with a superior script
6 August 2017 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This is a very good film noir, well directed by Roy Rowland and with strong casting. It is based on a story called 'Smashing the Bookie Gang Marauders', which provided a run of the mill plot. But the strongest aspect of this film is its intelligent and witty screenplay by Charles Schnee. The film has many quick ripostes and lots of snappy dialogue. But unlike many such films, where gag writers have inserted the gags, there are no gags in this film, and instead Schnee has written his own text with plenty of quick zippy wit. One particularly good line is when Van Johnson says to floozy Gloria DeHaven: 'You know, when girls have your kind of looks, it's hard to see them.' That was because he had misread her character. Van Johnson is at his best as the stalwart cop in this detective tale. His beautiful wife is played by Arlene Dahl, to great effect. Gloria DeHaven is the gangster's moll, and she is some looker. She almost had me fooled too. All that soft soap concealing the hard steel underneath is enough to make any guy doubt the reliability of dames sometimes. The story concerns some wild thugs who are wiping out the bookies and killing people without compunction, in an attempt to 'take over'. The main murderer is a man with a twisted hand and a blotchy face. But no one can find him. It is interesting from the dialogue in the film that at that time tough guys did not say: 'Where is he holed up?' but merely: 'Where is he holed?' And another linguistic surprise is that Van Johnson talks of people spending time together as 'hanging', as in the phrase 'hanging out' used by young people today. I had no idea that people in 1949 were already talking about 'hanging' with each other. It all goes to show how important movies can be for one's historical education in the evolution of slang. In fact, there is no substitute for them. And that is yet another reason for watching old movies nonstop.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1949 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Scene of the Crime See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$761,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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