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A Blueprint for Murder (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | September 1953 (USA)
Whitney Cameron suspects his sister-in-law has poisoned his brother and niece, but without proof how does he prevent the murder of his nephew?

Director:

Andrew L. Stone (as Andrew Stone)

Writer:

Andrew L. Stone (as Andrew Stone)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joseph Cotten ... Whitney 'Cam' Cameron
Jean Peters ... Lynn Cameron
Gary Merrill ... Fred Sargent
Catherine McLeod ... Maggie Sargent
Jack Kruschen ... Detective Lt. Harold Y. Cole
Barney Phillips ... Detective Capt. Pringle
Freddy Ridgeway Freddy Ridgeway ... Doug Cameron (as Fred Ridgeway)
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Storyline

Two orphans, Polly and Doug, live with their stepmother Lynne; Polly collapses with the same mystery symptoms that killed her father. The kids' visiting uncle, Whitney Cameron, is warned that the symptoms match strychnine poisoning, but that poisoners are seldom detected and rarely convicted. Sure enough, no case can be made against the obvious suspect; so what can Whitney do to save the next victim? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Was she liquid fire or congealed ice? See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asesinato a la orden See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ship at sea is the same miniature model used for Titanic (1953), which in turn was used for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Dangerous Crossing (1953). The interiors of the dining room and staircase on the ship were also from the same movies. See more »

Goofs

The cover on the face of the clock in Lynn's stateroom is present in long shots, but has been removed in close-ups, presumably due to reflections. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Whitney 'Cam' Cameron: Where is Polly Cameron's room?
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Connections

Featured in Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne op. 9 no.1 in B-flat minor
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The easiest way to get away with murder is also the hardest...
20 April 2013 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

... that probably being that you just have to hope things go your way in a couple of categories. First, you need to be an upstanding member of the community - but not too upstanding so that you are a target for some ambitious D.A. Second, you need to commit the crime in a jurisdiction where either the police are too lazy or too busy to look past the superficial details, where they accept whatever an overworked coroner says - accident, suicide, some sudden illness. Third, and this is where the killer in this film does not luck out, you need to make sure the grieving relatives are not the inquisitive persistent type, respectable and able to get the attention of those in charge of criminal investigations.

Enter Whitney 'Cam' Cameron (Joseph Cotten), who makes a darned good villain as well as a protagonist, but here he's the good guy - or at least so he says. He lost his brother suddenly to encephalitis several years before, and now his niece has also died suddenly. The random remarks of Cam's little nephew, Cam's own inquisitive mind, and the fact that his close friend's wife is a writer of murder mysteries gets Cam suspecting his late brother's wife Lynn of murder. I'll let you see how everything unwinds yourself and who is brought to justice. Cotten narrates for almost the entire film, since he is trying to convince himself this woman is guilty even as he tries to prove her guilt to others - he has always liked her since his brother married her after the death of his first wife, thought she was a good stepmother to his brother's kids, and doesn't want to believe something so hideous, but he has to protect his brother's one surviving child, his nephew - again, so he says.

One thing that has changed since 1953, besides the fact that fashionable ladies and gents all wore hats ,is that a person could die in the hospital - quite possibly due to a fatal mix up by the hospital pharmacy - and that an investigating relative would be met by cooperative hospital personnel and not by an army of stonewalling attorneys and form letters. At least, that's one thing I noticed as Cam went about the hospital where his niece died trying to get the facts.

This is a very good mystery, yet Fox relegated it to half a bill on a Midnight Movie DVD. Give it a chance. It is not the fare usually associated with Midnight Movies - matrons baking cookies by day and turned ax murderer by night, wildlife run amok due to a nuclear blast, etc. Recommended.


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