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No Questions Asked (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 June 1951 (USA)
An insurance lawyer unhappy with his rate of company advancement becomes a middleman in deals to recover stolen property from the Mob, thus earning a nice living. But his actions attract police attention and set him up for a double-cross.


Harold F. Kress


Sidney Sheldon (screenplay), Berne Giler (story)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Sullivan ... Steve Keiver
Arlene Dahl ... Ellen Sayburn
George Murphy ... Inspector Matt Duggan
Jean Hagen ... Joan Brenson
Richard Anderson ... Detective Walter O'Bannion
Moroni Olsen ... Henry Manston
Danny Dayton ... Harry Dycker (as Dan Dayton)
Dick Simmons ... Gordon N. Jessman
Howard Petrie ... Franko
William Phipps ... Roger
William Reynolds ... Floyd (as William Regnolds)
Mauritz Hugo ... Marty Callbert
Mari Blanchard ... Natalie
Robert Sheppard Robert Sheppard ... Detective Eddie
Michael Dugan Michael Dugan ... Detective Howard


Steve Keiver, a young lawyer working for an insurance company, hears his boss remark that he'd pay a large sum "no questions asked" for the return of stolen property to avoid paying a much larger claim. On his own initiative, Steve arranges such a deal, earning a nice commission. But he catches the eye of gangsters who think he's the ideal middleman for future similar deals...many of them. As Steve is drawn in deeper, the police take an interest in him, and he's ripe for a double-cross. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M presents the inside story of the men and their women in the "stolen goods" racket. See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 June 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Discrétion assurée See more »


Box Office


$742,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$483,000, 31 December 1951

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$656,000, 31 December 1951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film flopped at the box office, resulting in a loss to MGM of $377,000 ($3.7M in 2018) according to studio records. See more »


A policeman alerts patrol cars in the vicinity of "18th Street". In Manhattan all numbered streets are divided into east and west, so anyone giving an address would say "East 18th Street" or "West 18th Street," never the number alone. See more »


[first lines]
Steve Keiver: [voice-over narration as he hides in the night-time shadows from passing police cars] My name is Steve Keiver. That's what all the sirens are about, they were screaming for me. I was very popular that night - everybody wanted me, dead or alive. Big Franko wanted me dead. I don't think it mattered to the police how they got me, just so they got me. You'd think there'd be a thousand hiding places in a large city, but there aren't. No, not when they want you.
See more »


I've Got You Under My Skin
Written by Cole Porter
Sung along with jukebox by Jean Hagen and heard in score
See more »

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User Reviews

Noirish look at insurance scams marred by indifferent acting
14 February 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

No Questions Asked takes us down the primrose path followed by ambitious insurance agent Barry Sullivan (but all quality comparisons to Double Indemnity end there). He links up with mobsters who guarantee the return of stolen goods in exchange for a payoff consisting of a percent of their insured value -- and the insurance company acquiesces in this bottom-line trimming. (Sullivan's fiancee, Arlene Dahl, aspires to a higher standard of living.) Soon he's raking in big bucks, to the chagrin of his former co-worker Jean Hagen, who carries a torch for him. There are some good scenes (including a heist in a theater's ladies' lounge by two torpedoes in drag as society dames) and plot twists; some of the cinematography is not bad, either, though it's pretty cliched noir. The worst part of this movie, however, is the generic acting from all involved, except for that of Jean Hagen -- Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain -- and a couple of the bit players. Still, it's worth a first look, if not a second viewing.

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