Tuesday, May 23, 2017

99 River Street (1953).

From an ad for 99 River Street.
In 99 River Street, a former boxer (John Payne) is the chief suspect when his unfaithful wife (Peggie Castle) is murdered and must take steps to prove his innocence. Evelyn Keyes and future director Gene Reynolds (M*A*S*H) costar. The screenwriters are Robert Smith (I Walk Alone; Sea Hunt) and George Zuckerman (Under the Gun; Written on the Wind).


Monday, May 22, 2017

Upcoming book on historical murder cases.

McFarland's imprint Exposit Books provides a sneak peek at its upcoming book The Trunk That Dripped Blood: Five Sensational Murder Cases of the Early 20th Century by Mark Grossman. Some of the cases involve Emma LeDoux (1906), priest Hans Schmidt (1913), and dentist Arthur Warren Waite (1916).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

George V. Higgins speaks (1985).

In this 1985 event from the British Institute of Contemporary Arts, George V. Higgins (1939–99) discusses with Alexander Patrick Greysteil Ruthven, 2nd Earl of Gowrie, his background as a journalist, prosecutor, and defense attorney; his novel Penance for Jerry Kennedy; his view of the Watergate hearings (in light of his book, The Friends of Richard Nixon [1975]); and his few reservations about the film of his most well-known novel, The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1971). Says Higgins, "In the newspaper business I learned fairly soon that the quotes made the story."

Monday, May 15, 2017

Raskin on the polygraph, 1975.

Mackenzie-Lewis polygraph,
1919–26.
Wellcome Images, London.
In March 1975, psychologist and professor David C. Raskin delivered the Vancouver Institute lecture "Lie Detection and the Judicial System." Raskin, key in the development of the computerized polygraph test, discusses the theories behind lie detection, tracing its historical development (including the 1920s Frye case) and describing the procedure then in use for polygraph tests.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

House by the River (dir. Fritz Lang, 1950).

Jane Wyatt and Louis
Hayward in The Luckiest
Girl in the World
(1936)
An unbalanced writer (Louis Hayward) enlists his brother (Lee Bowman) to help him cover up the murder of a maid, but the brother finds himself accused of the crime, and the writer uses the murder to promote his book. Jane Wyatt costars. The film is directed by Fritz Lang and adapted from the novel of the same name (1921) by author and Member of Parliament A. P. Herbert.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Westlake film series, New York, May 12-14.

As the University of Chicago Press blog notes, the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY, will host the program "Crime Scenes" on May 12-14 featuring films adapted from the works of Donald Westlake (aka Richard Stark). These are the following:

Point Blank, May 12 (also includes commentary by Abby Westlake, Luc Sante, and Levi Stahl)

• The Grifters, May 13
The Stepfather, May 13
Cops and Robbers, May 14
Made in USA, May 14
• The Hot Rock, May 14
• The Outfit, May 14 (read George Pelecanos's take on the film)

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Shield for Murder (1954).

Based on the novel by William McGivern, Shield for Murder features Edmond O'Brien (who also co-directs) as a cop seeking to cover up his shooting of a bookie and theft of $25,000, but a deaf-mute has witnessed his crime. The 3 Dec. 1954 Motion Picture Daily reported that the Memphis and Shelby County Board of Censors banned the film because it "appears to be a burlesque on the city police department" (4).

Monday, May 01, 2017

The art of courtroom illustration.

Lloyd M. Bucher, captain of the USS Pueblo, testifies at the
court of naval inquiry regarding the capture of the Pueblo.
Illustration by Arnold Mesches. 1969.
A new exhibition "Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration" has opened at the Library of Congress, showcasing illustrations from court cases spanning 1964 to the present. Individuals portrayed include Sydney Biddle Barrows, Lloyd M. Bucher, Daniel Ellsberg, John Gotti, John Hinckley, Mick Jagger, Bernie Madoff, Charles Manson, Manuel Noriega, James Earl Ray, Eliot Richardson, Jack Ruby, and Sirhan Sirhan. (thanks to the Law & Humanities blog)