Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Long Before 'C.S.I.' There Was . . .

1950. 93 minutes.
This is possibly the first film to deal in a realistic way with forensics—or in any way whatsover, come to think of it—although most of it concerns plodding police procedure. However, it is far from dull, being a genuine whodunit.
MYSTERY STREET has many virtues, among them snappy dialogue:

"Is your husband here?"
"Not exactly."
"Were you ever married?"
"Not exactly."
"If there's anything I can do . . ."
"I want a list of everything you sold and where you sold it."
"Of course. Well, that is, if I can remember. My memory, you know, isn't exactly my number one asset."
"Well, pull your assets together - I want the truth!"
"Professors work with their heads. Cops work with their feet."
"Know her? Sure, I knew her. I was never close enough to smell her perfume, but I knew her!"
If you haven't seen this film, avoid TCM, Wikipedia, the American Film Institute, and the New York Times descriptions because they all tell too much.

Category: Detective fiction

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