Monday, January 9, 2017

Mystery Street (1950)

Director: John Sturges

Writers: Sydney Boehm, Richard Brooks, Leonard Spigelgass

Composer: Rudolph G. Kopp

Starring:  Ricardo Montalban, Sally Forrest, Bruce Bennett, Elsa Lanchester, Marshall Thompson, Jan Sterling, Edmon Ryan, Betsy Blair, Wally Maher, Ralph Dumke

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Anything can happen!

Plot: A small town policeman is assisted by a Harvard professor when the skeletal remains of a pregnant prostitute turn up on a Massachusetts beach.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Nah.

Well here's a nifty little gem that came out of nowhere.  First of all, it's great seeing Ricardo Montalban in a leading role and from so long ago.  He's great and Sturges does a great job directing it.  The story and how it progresses is great.  Then you've got the subject matter of forensics helping piece together something for the detectives to work with.  A woman is murdered, her body stripped of everything material, dumped in a different location than the murder and isn't discovered for many months...long enough for the body to have completely decomposed to the point of leaving nothing visible but bones.  The Harvard medical school helps with giving the particulars of the body the bones belonged to and then it's good old fashioned police work to do the rest.  It's not something you'd think would've been made 67 years ago.  The ending is satisfying, too, and the picture doesn't suffer much from the detective picture tropes of the day.  It's very good.

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