6.6/10
1,017
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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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1949 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cena do Crime See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$761,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The standard .38 Special cartridge has a 158 grain solid lead round nose bullet. Hollow pointed expanding bullets were not in really in use. They are a more modern invention staring in the 1960's. Because they did not expand and were not that powerful, that is why the .357 was invented. The .357 Magnum was a .38 special case extended 1/10 of an inch. See more »

Goofs

When Detective Lieutenant Conovan visits the slain Detective Monigan's son, the late-teenage son bitterly mentions Monigan's birth date as "July 25th, 1922," which, in the film's present-day setting of 1949 would have made Monigan 27 years old. The actor portraying Detective Monigan looked to be at least in his late 50's or early 60's. See more »

Quotes

Pontiac: I'm no Humphrey Bogart. He gets slugged and he's ready for action. I get slugged and I'm ready for pickling.
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 »

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User Reviews

 
A Cop Killing In Los Angeles
10 March 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Van Johnson plays it a lot rougher than usual when cast as a hardboiled police detective in Scene Of The Crime. He's got reason to be hard in this case. A fellow detective has been murdered, shot down in the mean streets of Los Angeles. The victim had a thousand dollars in his pocket and may have been doing some off duty guard duty for some bookmakers. Which would make the cop and incidentally Van's friend a crooked cop.

Which among other things is what Captain Leon Ames wants Van to find out as well as bring in the killer. What Van and his squad uncover is a gang of crooks who are robbing these illegal gambling establishments, be they bookmaking parlors, dice games, poker games, whatever.

This case is the main concern of this film, but Johnson has a whole lot of other things on his plate. A partner, John McIntire, who is slowing up with age, a young detective Tom Drake who is learning the ropes as fast as Van can teach him, and his wife Arlene Dahl who would like very much for her husband to get out of the cop business.

Two other performances really stand out in this film. First Gloria DeHaven as singer/gangster girl friend who's definitely the most hardboiled character in the film. Her reasons for her actions tread into adult areas that the Code frowned on, but are still implied. Secondly Norman Lloyd you will not forget as one of Van's stool pigeons who might just be missing a whole suit in his deck of cards. Lloyd will definitely make your skin crawl.

Scene Of The Crime is a good cop drama, atypical for MGM at that time, but they would soon be doing more of these.


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