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Shield For Murder , 1954


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Another little gem of a noir I just recently discovered.  The always excellent Edmond O'Brien (one of the best noir actors) plays a veteran cop who gives in to temptation to make a big score for himself and get away from the thankless task of fighting crime in the big city. If you bump off a two bit hood and take his dough, who's going to care?  More people then you would think, and now our cop turned bad is in for some real trouble.  The  dead guys boss wants the dough back, there's an unexpected witness  to the murder, and the cops own buddy on the police force is methodically on the case to find out what really happened. Watching O'Brien frantically running  about trying to survive reminds me of his plight in D.O.A. , only that guy was an innocent victim, this guy is guilty of murder and he's got to pay for his crime.  This film has a lot of "on the street"  location scenes (again like D.O.A.) which adds a lot to the enjoyment.  I might add that Edmond O Brien himself co directed this film, I wish that he would have directed some  more films .

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Glad you mentioned this film. I first watched it a few years ago on TCM. Personally, I prefer it over D.O.A. I think the on-location filming, which reminds me of NAKED CITY, is very effective-- especially the sequence that takes place in the public swimming pool area. But the other thing that works is the way some of the supporting characters are developed. In particular, I think Carolyn Jones sets the template for kooky off-beat characterizations in this film, something she would build upon in THE BACHELOR PARTY with Don Murray a few years later, and then again as Morticia and Ophelia a few years after that on TV's Addams Family.

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Glad you mentioned this film. I first watched it a few years ago on TCM. Personally, I prefer it over D.O.A. I think the on-location filming, which reminds me of NAKED CITY, is very effective-- especially the sequence that takes place in the public swimming pool area. But the other thing that works is the way some of the supporting characters are developed. In particular, I think Carolyn Jones sets the template for kooky off-beat characterizations in this film, something she would build upon in THE BACHELOR PARTY with Don Murray a few years later, and then again as Morticia and Ophelia a few years after that on TV's Addams Family.

I thought Carolyn Jones was great in this I actually uploaded two clips of her and Edmund O'Brien to YouTube here:

 

 

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The more I see of Edmond O'Brien the more I like and appreciate his acting talents.  He deserves to be remembe

 

Glad you mentioned this film. I first watched it a few years ago on TCM. Personally, I prefer it over D.O.A. I think the on-location filming, which reminds me of NAKED CITY, is very effective-- especially the sequence that takes place in the public swimming pool area. But the other thing that works is the way some of the supporting characters are developed. In particular, I think Carolyn Jones sets the template for kooky off-beat characterizations in this film, something she would build upon in THE BACHELOR PARTY with Don Murray a few years later, and then again as Morticia and Ophelia a few years after that on TV's Addams Family.

Ah, Carolyn Jones. In THE BACHELOR PARTY she was Oscar-nominated for a performance that lasted only a few minutes. And she was wonderful in KING CREOLE. As a blonde she was memorable; as her natural brunette self she was a knockout.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After some of our recent posts in this thread, I made a point of watching SHIELD FOR MURDER on TCM this morning. Just as good as I remembered. In addition to Jones, I thought Claude Akins was equally great in his supporting role. 

 

I love the little credit they give at the end of the film to the model home company. :)

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