(director:Walter Hart; screenwriter: original story by Edward Bock & Richard Landau/Richard Landau/Edward Bock; cinematographer: Jackson Rose; editor: Tom Biggart; music: Max Terr; cast: Morris Ankrum (Lt. Pat McKay),  Arthur Space (Burton Caighn Jr.), Paul Guilfoyle (Dudley Badger), Henry O’Neill  (Dr. Everett Colner), Jacqueline White (Jean Smith), William Tannen (McKay’s assistant), Dorothy Adams (Mrs. Mary Abbott); Runtime: 21; MPAA Rating: NR;MGM; 1944-B/W)

“One of the lesser films in the long-running MGM series of  ‘crime does not pay’ episodes.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

This short 21-minute film focuses on an assertive NYC police psychiatrist, Dr. Everett Colner (Henry O’Neill), investigating the murder of another psychiatrist, Dr. Elton Parsons. The shrink was fatally strangled and placed in his office closet. A nurse, Jean Smith (Jacqueline White), who helps the police investigators is also murdered when there’s a newspaper story on her help. The cop in charge of the investigation is Lt. Pat McKay (Morris Ankrum), who follows along with Colner’s theories, as he searches for a motive. The shrink works from a list of violent mental cases on the loose  and narrows it down to two suspects on the police list (Dudley Badger & Arthur Space). The shrink schemes to force the killer out in the open by calling him out for hating his mother and for mistakenly blaming the victim shrink for his problems.

This is one of the lesser films in the long-running MGM series of  ‘crime does not pay’ episodes. It’s flatly directed by Walt Hart (“The Goldbergs”) in the usual formulaic way B-film crime dramas were directed back then. The story is by Edward Bock & Richard Landau, who also do the screenplay.

Dark Shadows Poster

REVIEWED ON 2/17/2021  GRADE: C+