The first of the five films where Bill Elliott played a detective lieutenant in the L.A Sheriff's department, Dial Red "O" (the correct title with the number 0 (zero), as on a telephone ... See full summary »
The third of five films (Dial Red-O, Sudden Danger, Calling Homicide, Chain of Evidence, and Footsteps in the Night in release order and released across a full period of three years) in which Bill Elliott played a detective lieutenant (Andy Flynn in the first one, Doyle in the others) in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide department) with all five produced by Ben Schwab but a different director on each one. Lieutenant Andy Doyle of the Los Angeles Sheriff;s homicide department, while investigation the mysterious dynamiting death of a young policeman, discovers that the strangling-murder of Francine Norman, owner of a modeling school, is linked with the first killing. While questioning those connected with the school, manager Darlene Adams, and executives Allen Gilmore and Tony Fuller, Lt. Doyle and his aide, Detective Sergeant Mike Duncan, find there is a blackmailing "baby racket" being run in conjunction with the school. Suspicion points to construction company owner Jim ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CALLING HOMICIDE is one of the four police films in which former Western star "Wild Bill" Elliott played police detective Andy Doyle. These Allied Artists films were Elliott's last screen roles, and he certainly went out with a bang! The plot digs deep into the sordid underbelly of Hollywood in a way that Raymond Chandler would have been proud of (also reminiscent of such recent offerings as LA CONFIDENTIAL or TWILIGHT), but don't expect any Phillip Marlowe-esque flights of existential gutter-poetry-philosophy from Wild Bill Elliott, as he plays the role (and the role is written)in the stoic Gary Cooper vein. Like a good 1940s PRC mystery, this is a film where every supporting character is quirky and well-acted by such veterans as Lyle Talbot (wonderful as a drunk!), Myron Healey, James Best, and Mary Treen (who plays her role in the best Iris Adrian fashion). Interestingly, CALLING HOMICIDE was written and directed by Edward Bernds, veteran of many fine Three Stooges and Bowery Boys films. Bernds is a master of slapstick and comic timing, so it's a pleasant surprise to see him adapt so well to the hard-boiled crime genre. I'm going to check his filmography and track down any other crime dramas he may have written and/or directed. Good job, Mr. Bernds! The Andy Doyle police films were a nice swan song for Wild Bill Elliott--the western hero who best combined toughness with dignity. He was tough on the range, and he's just as tough on those mean streets of Los Angeles.
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