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HISTORY

This film's working title was Off the Record . A HR production chart adds Don Harvey to the cast but his appearance in the released film has not been determined. Some sources list the character played by Richard Reeves as "Pete Mazurki," but in the film he is called "Pete Tanner." An opening narration states that this film was inspired by a true incident, but information on the incident has not been located. As noted in reviews, a number of real Los Angeles and Hollywood locations were used in the ... More Less

This film's working title was Off the Record . A HR production chart adds Don Harvey to the cast but his appearance in the released film has not been determined. Some sources list the character played by Richard Reeves as "Pete Mazurki," but in the film he is called "Pete Tanner." An opening narration states that this film was inspired by a true incident, but information on the incident has not been located. As noted in reviews, a number of real Los Angeles and Hollywood locations were used in the film. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Feb 1954.
---
Daily Variety
17 Feb 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Feb 54
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 53
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 54
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Feb 54
p. 2189.
New York Times
13 Mar 54
p. 11.
Variety
24 Feb 54
p. 6.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Off the Record
Release Date:
28 March 1954
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 17 February 1954
Production Date:
began early October 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Allied Artists Pictures, Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 February 1954
Copyright Number:
LP3264
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80
Length(in feet):
7,191
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16810
SYNOPSIS

Mike Donovan is a successful teller in the Hollywood branch of the Capitol National Bank. One day a group of federal bank examiners come to audit the bank, but are unaware of an impostor, Tate, in their ranks. Tate, who is working in collusion with a blonde woman who poses as a customer, tells Mike that he needs to check his cash on hand and, while Mike is distracted, steals almost $50,000. When Mike discovers the shortage he is frightened to report it before he leaves for the weekend. After he discusses the situation with his wife Ruthie, they decide that he must report it first thing Monday to Jim Starling, the branch manager. Although Starling trusts Mike, he has to report the loss to the bank's bonding company, which sends investigator Gus Slavin to interview Mike. Slavin, a tough ex-cop, accuses Mike of the theft and although Mike proclaims his innocence, he and Ruthie are taken to police headquarters and interrogated by detective Neil Sanford and an FBI agent. Sanford establishes that the couple is in debt, and although a search of their house produces nothing incriminating, Slavin is convinced that Mike has hidden the money somewhere. Mike takes a lie detector test and tries to identify the thief from photographs. In a meeting with the examiners he says that he believes he could recognize the man's face and voice. Starling is forced to fire Mike as the bonding company has canceled his bond, and it is unlikely that any other company will bond him. Mike manages to get a job pumping gas, but Slavin continues to follow him and hounds him out of that job and three ... +


Mike Donovan is a successful teller in the Hollywood branch of the Capitol National Bank. One day a group of federal bank examiners come to audit the bank, but are unaware of an impostor, Tate, in their ranks. Tate, who is working in collusion with a blonde woman who poses as a customer, tells Mike that he needs to check his cash on hand and, while Mike is distracted, steals almost $50,000. When Mike discovers the shortage he is frightened to report it before he leaves for the weekend. After he discusses the situation with his wife Ruthie, they decide that he must report it first thing Monday to Jim Starling, the branch manager. Although Starling trusts Mike, he has to report the loss to the bank's bonding company, which sends investigator Gus Slavin to interview Mike. Slavin, a tough ex-cop, accuses Mike of the theft and although Mike proclaims his innocence, he and Ruthie are taken to police headquarters and interrogated by detective Neil Sanford and an FBI agent. Sanford establishes that the couple is in debt, and although a search of their house produces nothing incriminating, Slavin is convinced that Mike has hidden the money somewhere. Mike takes a lie detector test and tries to identify the thief from photographs. In a meeting with the examiners he says that he believes he could recognize the man's face and voice. Starling is forced to fire Mike as the bonding company has canceled his bond, and it is unlikely that any other company will bond him. Mike manages to get a job pumping gas, but Slavin continues to follow him and hounds him out of that job and three others until Mike finds a secure job driving a taxi. Mike and Ruthie are forced to sell their house and move into a small apartment. Later, Slavin visits their apartment and tells Mike and Ruthie that his bonding company will soon have to pay up and proposes that Mike turn over the cash but keep $10,000 for himself. Mike, however, still proclaims his innocence. Later, when Mike and Ruthie visit their new bank, Mike recognizes Tate, who is one of the tellers. Mike then follows him while Ruthie calls Slavin. When Mike catches up, Tate proves to be a coward and offers to split the money fifty-fifty. They go to Tate's apartment where he gives Mike $25,000, but Vera, Tate's blonde accomplice, draws a gun and demands the money back. Slavin has tailed Mike to the apartment but before he can enter, Tate slugs Mike and he and Vera escape. Slavin does not believe Mike's account of the events and tries to stop him from going after Tate and Vera, but Mike's boss restrains him. Mike follows the couple to a Malibu beach cottage then phones Sanford, who summons sheriffs from the Malibu station. At the house, Tate and Vera take Mike prisoner, and Vera orders Tate to kill Mike but he cannot do it. She then shoots Mike, wounding him in the shoulder. Moments later the police arrive and arrest Tate and Vera. After a brief investigation and the recovery of the money, Mike is reinstated at the bank. +

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.