Written by / 3/22/2023 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

EDMOND O'BRIEN KILLS THE BAD COP NOIR 'SHIELD FOR MURDER'

Title: SHIELD FOR MURDERYear of Capture & Release: 1954 Bullet Holes: ****

By the time this SHIELD FOR MURDER hit theaters, Edmond O'Brien had put on a few pounds, resembling Tyrone Power had he eaten Tyrone Power and with the lean, strict, tough years behind he was perfect as a character he'd have, a few years prior, spent an entire movie trying to bust...

Starting out with a MURDER where only one hidden witness knows the truth, O'Brien's crooked cop Barney might not have stooped this low... intentionally killing a lowlife criminal who happens to have a ton of cash from the big numbers racket mobster he ripped off... 

Marla English reflecting in SHIELD FOR MURDER

Unless he felt he was above the law since he was the law, and Detective Barney Nolan not only has a bad temper but a reputation that proceeds him – the believers are young cop John Agar who he mentored since youth as well as token ingenue Marla English as Patty Winters, a nice looking dame he can't trust to work in public...

So he dreams of stowing her cozily into a tract house in the budding suburbs with the help of his victim, now donning empty pockets in the morgue and, with the exception of Emile Meyer's quick lecture, and a newspaper reporter morally hounding his cop friend, Barney seems to have gotten away with it...

Edmond O'Brien in SHIELD FOR MURDER with Marla English

SHIELD FOR MURDER is intense, and not just when it's supposed to be. When the stakes are raised and the suspense antes up as tables turn into the third act are taut but not as effective as when Barney's completely in the clear...

O'Brien's expressions alone, eyes either narrowed or bulging, even while romancing "other girl" barfly-type Carolyn Jones, makes him far from the usual ambiguous Noir centerpiece and yet a residual of sympathy remains in his hopeless desire in keeping a crime covered up, and the fact he killed a bad guy in the first place...

Edmond O'Brien in SHIELD FOR MURDER

What does fit the particular genre are the low budget sets, from the police headquarters desks that seemed dragged in for a day's shoot, a boom microphone shadow that puts all visible booms to shame and covering up the flaws is terrific acting albeit too backed by a loud dramatic soundtrack...

In one scene he goes through a guilt-driven transformation that'd be more effective for O'Brien without the musical bombs bursting behind him. But flaws aside, this is a sparse and effective one-man show about a multi-flawed cop that, like even Film Noir protagonists, simply wants a short cut for the good life i.e. the impossible American Dream.

A Howard W. Koch production before his Bel-Air Productions featuring Marla English
Edmond O'Brien setting up the kill in SHIELD FOR MURDER
SHIELD FOR MURDER with Carolyn Jones and Edmond O'Brien
SHIELD FOR MURDER with Marla English
SHIELD FOR MURDER with Marla English and Edmond O'Brien
SHIELD FOR MURDER with John Agar, Marla English and Claude Akins
SHIELD FOR MURDER with Marla English and John Agar
SHIELD FOR MURDER with Marla English and John Agar
SHIELD FOR MURDER with Carolyn Jones and Edmond O'Brien
SHIELD FOR MURDER with Carolyn Jones and Edmond O'Brien
SHIELD FOR MURDER with John Agar
"Top of the suburbs, Ma!" in SHIELD FOR MURDER with Edmond O'Brien
"Top of the suburbs, Ma!" in SHIELD FOR MURDER with Edmond O'Brien
The worst case of a Visible Boom Mic ever: from SHIELD FOR MUDER
Marla English in SHIELD FOR MURDER
Edmond O'Brien and John Agar in SHIELD FOR MURDER
Norman Ollestad and Edmond O'Brien in SHIELD FOR MURDER

Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

RICHARD BASEHART AND MARILYN MAXWELL IN 'OUTSIDE THE WALL'

Title: OUTSIDE THE WALL Year: 1950 Rating: *** Crane Wilber's OUTSIDE THE WALL is three movies in one, and the first two are the best: s...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

RIP ACTOR KEN HUTCHISON

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "I love my country and I love my slippers." Jack Benny in Ernst Lubitsch's To Be Or Not To Be

FILM NOIR & NEO NOIR CRIME

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)HELL IS A CITY 3)ROBBERY 4)THE FEARMAKERS 5)CANYON PASSAGE 6)VIOLENT SATURDAY 7)HOT CARS 8)JUNGLE STREET 9)THE CROWDED SKY 10)THE ROARING TWENTIES 11) ANATOMY OF A MURDER 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 15)HARDCORE 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)AL CAPONE 19)HIDDEN FEAR 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)NIGHT CREATURES 22)THE HEROIN BUSTERS 23)ASH WEDNESDAY 24)THE BREAK 25)AIR PATROL 26)THE STONE KILLER 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)FRENZY 30)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)STANLEY BAKER 4)MARLON BRANDO 5)CHARLES BRONSON1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

CHARLES BRONSON CINEMA

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

PEAKING INTO THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

FOR HORROR MOVIE REVIEWS

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE