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directed by Roy Rowland
USA 1949

 

An off-duty Los Angeles police detective is shot and killed one night with an unexplained thousand dollars found in his pocket. It falls to his former partner (Van Johnson) to track down his killers and try to exonerate him. Scene of the Crime, which tells the story, stays a police procedural with a few twists and touches that raise it a notch or two above the routine.

First of all, Johnson's wife (Arlene Dahl) has fallen prey to the dissatisfactions common to her lot. She's tired of their evenings, in and out, being ruined by yet another summons to duty (`Whenever the telephone rings, it cuts me,' she cries); she tired of rolling his dice rigged to come up seven, a ritual that supposedly bids him luck.

On the job, he has his burdens, too. His new partner (John McIntyre) is getting on in years and his sight is failing. And under Johnson's wing is nestled rookie cop Tom Drake, learning the ropes. Outside the office there's an abrasive police reporter (Donald Woods) chasing the corruption angle; there's also the network of low-lifes who serve, if the pressure is right, as stoolies - most vivid of them is the young Norman Lloyd.

Word filters up that the killing was the work of a couple of downstate 'lobos' who have been knocking over bookie operations. Going undercover, Johnson starts romancing a stripper one of them used to date (Gloria De Haven, in the movie's sharpest performance). Even though he's working her, he finds his emotions in play - and even though it turns out that she's working him, too, she has no emotions.

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar for imdb.com located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 July 1949 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:34:09
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:07)

DVD Release Date: January 8, 2013
Keep Case

Chapters 38

 

Comments

Scene of the Crime is a decent police-procedural from MGM starring Van Johnson as a cop going undercover to find a killer of his partner. Arlene Dahl is his long-suffering wife and Gloria De Haven is a stripper/femme fatale. There is some nice dark cinematography in the alleys and smoky night clubs, making it very easy to classify this crime drama as film noir.

The Warner Archive Collection made-on-demand disc features a nice progressive transfer. There are some marks and specs in the beginning, but they are not intrusive and print is better as the film progresses. The mono audio is without any damage, but per usual standard there are no subtitles provided. A theatrical trailer is included as an extra.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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