Here is Crime Scene's home for classic crime / noir films. For the most part these are forgotten classics and undiscovered gems.
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The Big Combo
One of three films made from Mickey Spillaine books during the 1950's. After private detective Mike Hammer saves a hooker from a thug, she's runned down in what looks like a hit-and-run accident. Missing is her ring that had been stolen by Nazis. Mike gets the lowdown from his pal Capt. Pat Chambers and launches a search for the ring and find the hookers killers. What follows is the usual Hammer dose of red blooded vengance and violence.

The cast includes: Robert Bray, Whitney Blake, Donald Randolph, Gina Core and Pamela Duncan.

My Gun Is Quick

Controversial 1955 crime film that is drenched with violence and mayhem. Police Lt. Leonard Diamond is ordered to stop his investigation of Mr. Brown the cities crime czar. This is because in four years he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. In a last ditch effort to bring down Brown Diamond goes after his girlfriend for information. What follows is a spiral of; murder, torture, sadism and double crossing all leading to the climatic final scene at a fog shrouded airport.

The cast includes; Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Brian Donlevy, Jean Wallace, Robert Middleton and Lee Van Cleef.

Five Minutes To Live A.K.A. Door To Door Maniac
I The Jury

It's Christmas time in Manhattan and Mike Hammer is Santa Claus in this film version of Mickey Spillaine's I The Jury. Mike is Santa and he's got a list and is trying to find out who's been naughty or nice as he stumbles across a vice racket trying to find out who killed a pal of his. This 1953 film stars Biff Elliot as Hammer.

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Crime Scene Films

Johnny Cash the man in black himself Johnny Cash stars a machine gun toting, guitar playing, sadistic psycho-killer. He's part of a gang of crooks who terrorize a family while attempting a bank robbery in a suburban town. Also known as “Door To Door Maniac” ithe film also features Vic Tayback, a young Ron Howard, and country music great, Merle Travis

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Violent Saturday

Here's a tough little caper film with gorgeous cinematography a great cast. You've got Victor Mature, J Carroll Nash, Lee Marvin as a sadistic drug snorting hood and Ernest Borgnie as a an Amish farmer. Three hoods blow into a small peaceful town to rob a bank. Bubbling below the surface you've got infidelity, vouyerism and more. This 1959 movie was shot in brilliant color in Brisbee Arizona.

Ma Barkers Killer Brood
Lured
Before she became the worldwide icon known as "Lucy" Lucille Ball had a Hollywood career going back to 1933. In this 1947 British film called Lured she becomes bait for Scotland Yard when her friend becomes a serial killers victim. It features a solid cast that includes; Geroge Sanders, Charles Coburn & Boris Karloff.
The Chase
Based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear. Down on his luck vet Chuck Scott (Bob Cummings) finds a wallet full of money and returns it to it's owner a hood by the name of Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran) and his muscle is Gino played by Peter Lorre. Roman likes the cut of Scott's jib and hires him to be a chauffeur. We learn early on that Roman is a sadistic bully he slaps his manicurist around for not being quick enough. Then feeds a fellow business man to the dogs literally, ouch.

Mr Roman is also married of course to an unhappy woman. Who would be happy being married to a sadistic bully? So you kind of get the idea where this is all going. There's more to it but that's why you watch the movie.

The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery

Here's an early Steve McQueen role ina film noir that is as dark and gritty as your likely to find. It's a based on fact story about four guys who rob a bank in St. Louis. There are no other stars or even any likeable characters. Just flawed humans stumbling over their own shortcomings. It's great as long as like dark and would you be on this page if you didn't?

Extra kudos for being shot on the streets of St. Louis and using the real cops, bank employees and residents from the real heist.

Other Links Of Interest

AMC Filmsite section has a pretty extensive summary on film noir

Crime Town a podcast about organized crime in Providence, Rhode Island. From the folks that did HBO's Jinx

Paste web site offers it's list of the 100 greatest noirs

Borderline
A 1950 crime / romance / comedy film starring Fred Murray,Claire Trevor and Raymond Burr. Borderline is a south of the border tale about American law enforcement agents chasing a drug smuggling ring operating in Mexico. Before playing the hero as TV's Perry Mason and Ironside Raymond Burr played the villain in an number of crime thrillers. Most notably as Lars Thorwald the subject of Jimmy Stewart's voyeuristic spying in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window". For more on Burr's life as a villain click here.
Scarlet Street

Scarlet Street is1945 love triangle film noir directed by Fritz Lang that stars Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea. Robinson plays a life long cashier trapped in a loveless marriage who paints in his spare time. On his way home from an event honoring his 25 years of working for the same store Robinson rescues the femme fatale Bennett from a thug played by Duryea. In conversation she gets the idea that Robinson is a wealthy painter so she latches on to him.

Well of course she finds out he's married, Duryea is her boyfriend and when they find out he's not rich they blackmail him into stealing money from his store.

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The Hoodlum

Lawrence Tierney can play a good heal in “The Hoodlum” he plays Vincent Lubeck who has recently been released from the slammer. He gets a job from his brother working at his gas station. Instead of being gratefull he becomes jealous of his brother, steals his girlfriend, gets her pregnat and refuses to marry her. This causes her to commit suicide.

Next he turns his eye on an armored car that makes regular stops at the bank across the street.He puts his old crew back together and plans to knock over the armored car.The robbery is successful, but as often happens there is a falling out among the thives and well you gotta watch the film to find out what happens.

More Flicks

The Red House; This 1947 mystery stars Edward G. Robison and features: Judith Anderson, Rory Calhoun, Julie London and others.

Daughter Of Horror AKA Dementia: An early 1950's experimental film that is told without dialouge just music and sound effects. Originally produced as Dementia it had trouble with the censors so some cuts were made and narration added (by Ed MacMahon) and the name was changed to Daughter Of Horror.

A low budget highly fictionalized account of the deadly Barker-Karpis gang headed by the beloved Ma. There criminal career begins with Ma teaching her four boys how to steal from the church collection plate. It ends with a blazing shoot out with the FBI in Florida. Along the way we have robberies, kidnapping and murder. This is an exciting movie with a no name cast that provides solid entertainment.