Home Sweet Homicide (1946)

90 mins | Comedy-drama | October 1946

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writer:

F. Hugh Herbert

Producer:

Louis D. Lighton

Cinematographer:

John F. Seitz

Editor:

Louis Loeffler

Production Designers:

James Basevi, Boris Leven

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio purchased the rights to the novel, which was written by Mrs. Lawrence Lipton under the pseudonym Craig Rice, in Jul 1945 for $20,000. The houses used for exteriors in this film actually belonged to director Lloyd Bacon and were located at #3 and #5 Toluca Estates Drive in North Hollywood, CA. A temporary false front was added to #5 to simulate a second story for the "Carstairs" home. Both houses were rented to the studio at $1.00 each for 30 days. Allyn Joslyn was originally announced to play "Mr. Cherrington" but was replaced by Stanley Logan just after production ... More Less

According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio purchased the rights to the novel, which was written by Mrs. Lawrence Lipton under the pseudonym Craig Rice, in Jul 1945 for $20,000. The houses used for exteriors in this film actually belonged to director Lloyd Bacon and were located at #3 and #5 Toluca Estates Drive in North Hollywood, CA. A temporary false front was added to #5 to simulate a second story for the "Carstairs" home. Both houses were rented to the studio at $1.00 each for 30 days. Allyn Joslyn was originally announced to play "Mr. Cherrington" but was replaced by Stanley Logan just after production began. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Jul 1946.
---
Daily Variety
17 Jul 46
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Jul 46
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 46
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 46
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Apr 46
p. 2939.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
27 Jul 46
p. 3124.
New York Times
12 Sep 46
p. 5.
Variety
17 Jul 46
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Tech adv
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Home, Sweet Homicide by Craig Rice (New York, 1944).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Home Sweet Home," music traditional, arranged by Sir Henry Rowley Bishop, lyrics by John Howard Payne.
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1946
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 11 September 1946
Production Date:
11 March--18 April 1946
addl scenes 14 May 1946
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 August 1946
Copyright Number:
LP754
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in feet):
8,060
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11590
SYNOPSIS

Marian Carstairs, widowed mother of three children--Dinah, the eldest, April and Archie--writes detective novels for a living. The children plan a party to celebrate the completion of their mother's latest book and intend to invite neighbor Mr. Cherrington, who is also a writer, in the hope that a romance may develop. As the children leave their house for Luke's malt shop, they hear two gunshots emanating from the neighboring Sanford house and note the time. On their return, they see film actress, Polly Walker, leaving the Sanford house in a highly emotional state. While the children talk with her, Bill Smith and Dan O'Hare of the homicide squad arrive at the house, having been summoned by Polly. After O'Hare determines that Flora Sanford has been killed, Bill interrogates Polly. She tells him that Flora, an actor's agent, had invited her over for tea but was already dead when she arrived. The children listen to the interrogation and are ordered to leave until they reveal that they heard gunshots. April then feigns an attack of hysterics to avoid telling the detectives the time of the shots, as the children have decided that they want their mother to solve the crime. Later, Bill and Dan come to the Cartstairs' home and Marian is surprised to learn that Bill's name is the same as her fictional detective. Marian explains to Bill that Flora was her literary agent. Suspicion naturally falls on Flora's husband Wallace, but because he is a friend of theirs, the children provide him with an alibi by giving misinformation about the time they heard the shots. The children now plan to solve the crime themselves and, at night, intend ... +


Marian Carstairs, widowed mother of three children--Dinah, the eldest, April and Archie--writes detective novels for a living. The children plan a party to celebrate the completion of their mother's latest book and intend to invite neighbor Mr. Cherrington, who is also a writer, in the hope that a romance may develop. As the children leave their house for Luke's malt shop, they hear two gunshots emanating from the neighboring Sanford house and note the time. On their return, they see film actress, Polly Walker, leaving the Sanford house in a highly emotional state. While the children talk with her, Bill Smith and Dan O'Hare of the homicide squad arrive at the house, having been summoned by Polly. After O'Hare determines that Flora Sanford has been killed, Bill interrogates Polly. She tells him that Flora, an actor's agent, had invited her over for tea but was already dead when she arrived. The children listen to the interrogation and are ordered to leave until they reveal that they heard gunshots. April then feigns an attack of hysterics to avoid telling the detectives the time of the shots, as the children have decided that they want their mother to solve the crime. Later, Bill and Dan come to the Cartstairs' home and Marian is surprised to learn that Bill's name is the same as her fictional detective. Marian explains to Bill that Flora was her literary agent. Suspicion naturally falls on Flora's husband Wallace, but because he is a friend of theirs, the children provide him with an alibi by giving misinformation about the time they heard the shots. The children now plan to solve the crime themselves and, at night, intend to visit the scene of the crime. On the way, they go by Archie's clubhouse, where they discover Wallace hiding out from the police. Wallace swears he is innocent and tells them that his wife had refused to give him a divorce so he could marry Polly. Wallace tells the children that Flora was also dabbling in blackmail and that an envelope, hidden somewhere in the house, contains information which can probably establish who committed the crime. Later, when the children discover Mr. Cherrington, who also has an alibi for the time of the killing, is unable to attend the celebratory dinner, they invite Bill in his place, hoping he will ask Marian to the movies so that they can continue the investigation unhindered. However, during the dinner, a fire in a nearby home distracts everyone and affords the children the opportunity to enter the Sanford house to look for the envelope. After they find the envelope, another intruder, Frank Riley, enters looking for something in the house, but is shot by another unseen man. Back home, the children examine the contents of the envelope, and Dinah decides to write a series of anonymous letters to Bill stating that Flora was a blackmailer and revealing, in each letter, a few of the people she was blackmailing. When Bill receives two of Dinah's letters, Dan suspects that the children have sent them. Mr. Cherrington, meanwhile, pays a call on Marian, ostensibly to discuss the constant questioning by the police, but while they chat, he fixes the front door lock so that he can later return and enter. Bill and Dan show Marian the letters and tell the children they are in grave danger and must reveal where they got the information. Marian orders the children to hand over the envelope to Bill. Archie tells Bill that they know where Wallace is and the girls admit that they have lied about the time of the shots. When Dinah goes upstairs to get the envelope, she is attacked by Cherrington and screams. The others come to her rescue and, after a brief chase, Cherrington is caught. Under interrogation, Cherrington admits that Riley had ghostwritten his book and that their contract was in the envelope. When the book became a best-seller, Riley, with Flora's help, tried to extort money from Cherrington and threatened to destroy his literary reputation. After Dan brings Wallace in, Wallace states that he will confess to his wife's murder if the police do not involve Polly in the case. However, when Archie reveals that he found a phonograph record of typing sounds with which Cherrington established his alibi, Cherrington tries to escape. He is caught, however, and Wallace is released. To the children's delight, it looks as if Bill and Marian will marry. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.