Nocturne (1946)

86-88 mins | Mystery | 29 October 1946

Director:

Edwin L. Marin

Producer:

Joan Harrison

Cinematographer:

Harry Wild

Editor:

Elmo Williams

Production Designer:

Robert Boyle

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Nocturne was producer Joan Harrison's first assignment for RKO. According to a HR news item, Harrison, a former associate of Alfred Hitchcock, also worked on the screenplay, but the exact nature of her contribution has not been determined. The film also marked the motion picture debut of actor Joseph Pevney (1911--2008). Pevney appeared in a number of films prior to becoming a director, first for feature films, then for television. Among his television credits are numerous episodes of the cult series Star Trek . RKO borrowed Lynn Bari from Twentieth Century-Fox for the production. HR news items note that filming was to take place "all over Hollywood," including the Pantages Theatre, Hollywood Studio Club and the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. Modern sources add that the film grossed $568,000 in ... More Less

Nocturne was producer Joan Harrison's first assignment for RKO. According to a HR news item, Harrison, a former associate of Alfred Hitchcock, also worked on the screenplay, but the exact nature of her contribution has not been determined. The film also marked the motion picture debut of actor Joseph Pevney (1911--2008). Pevney appeared in a number of films prior to becoming a director, first for feature films, then for television. Among his television credits are numerous episodes of the cult series Star Trek . RKO borrowed Lynn Bari from Twentieth Century-Fox for the production. HR news items note that filming was to take place "all over Hollywood," including the Pantages Theatre, Hollywood Studio Club and the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. Modern sources add that the film grossed $568,000 in profits. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Oct 1946.
---
Daily Variety
15 Oct 46
p. 3
Down Beat
15 Jan 47
p. 7.
Film Daily
24 Oct 46
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 45
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 46
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 46
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Jun 46
p. 3055.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Oct 46
p. 3261.
New York Times
11 Nov 46
p. 42.
Variety
16 Oct 46
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Greta Grandstedt
Lillian Bond
Lee Frederick
Robert Andersen
Bert Moorehouse
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
STAND INS
Piano double for Joseph Pevney
Singing double for Virginia Huston
SOURCES
SONGS
"Nocturne," music by Leigh Harline, lyrics by Mort Greene
"Why Pretend" and "A Little Bit Is Better Than None," music and lyrics by Eleanor Rudolph.
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 October 1946
Production Date:
21 May--mid June 1946
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
2 January 1947
Copyright Number:
LP866
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
86-88
Length(in feet):
7,832
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11695
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As playboy songwriter Keith Vincent callously ends an affair with a woman he calls Dolores while at the same time working on "Nocturne," his latest composition, he is shot and killed. Although Halberson, the head of the police investigation, later rules the death a suicide because Vincent's fingerprints are on the gun and powder burns appear on his hand, homicide detective Lieutenant Joe Warne is skeptical. While inspecting the crime scene, Joe notes that Vincent was still composing his song, which he had dedicated to "Dolores," when he died and kept a gallery of photographs of his lovers on his living room wall. After Vincent's servant, Eujemio, informs Joe that Vincent referred to all of his lovers as "Dolores," Joe questions the women in the photographs one by one. When the interviews yield nothing, Joe returns to Vincent's and notices a spot on the wall where a photograph had once been. Joe tracks the missing lover through a photographic studio run by a man named Shawn and interrogates the woman, Frances Ransom, at a swank swimming pool. Although Frances, a bit movie actress, gives Joe a detailed alibi, he quickly concludes that her story is a lie. Before Joe can follow up on his suspicions, however, he is suspended from the force for his brutish interrogation techniques. Unfazed by the suspension, Joe invites Frances to the Keyboard Club, where Frances' sister, Carol Page, sings. Joe asks pianist Ned "Fingers" Ford to play "Nocturne" and watches how Frances and Carol react to the tune. While Frances is nonplussed, Carol appears disturbed, and Joe decides to follow Carol home. There Carol admits that ... +


As playboy songwriter Keith Vincent callously ends an affair with a woman he calls Dolores while at the same time working on "Nocturne," his latest composition, he is shot and killed. Although Halberson, the head of the police investigation, later rules the death a suicide because Vincent's fingerprints are on the gun and powder burns appear on his hand, homicide detective Lieutenant Joe Warne is skeptical. While inspecting the crime scene, Joe notes that Vincent was still composing his song, which he had dedicated to "Dolores," when he died and kept a gallery of photographs of his lovers on his living room wall. After Vincent's servant, Eujemio, informs Joe that Vincent referred to all of his lovers as "Dolores," Joe questions the women in the photographs one by one. When the interviews yield nothing, Joe returns to Vincent's and notices a spot on the wall where a photograph had once been. Joe tracks the missing lover through a photographic studio run by a man named Shawn and interrogates the woman, Frances Ransom, at a swank swimming pool. Although Frances, a bit movie actress, gives Joe a detailed alibi, he quickly concludes that her story is a lie. Before Joe can follow up on his suspicions, however, he is suspended from the force for his brutish interrogation techniques. Unfazed by the suspension, Joe invites Frances to the Keyboard Club, where Frances' sister, Carol Page, sings. Joe asks pianist Ned "Fingers" Ford to play "Nocturne" and watches how Frances and Carol react to the tune. While Frances is nonplussed, Carol appears disturbed, and Joe decides to follow Carol home. There Carol admits that she heard Frances playing the song and knows that she was with Vincent on the night of his death. Carol also says that Frances removed her photograph a week before Vincent's demise, shortly after he had jilted her. Despite his growing attraction to Frances, Joe returns to her apartment and bluntly asks her "how she did it." Frances denies Joe's charges and permits Torp, Finger's hulking piano pusher, to beat him. At the police hospital, Joe runs into Susan Flanders, Vincent's ex-convict housemaid, who also has been badly beaten, but is unable to extract any information out of her. Joe's worldly mother, meanwhile, discusses the case at home with a friend and, while showing the friend how Vincent could not have been forced to shoot himself, accidentally fires a blank against Joe's temple. The accident convinces Joe that the powder burns on Vincent's hand could have been left by using his hand to fire a blank into the actual wound. Armed with this information, Joe corners Frances on a movie set, but is quickly turned away. Responding to a telephone message, Joe then goes to Shawn's studio, but finds the photographer's body hanging from the ceiling. He then rushes over to Frances' apartment and arrives in time to save her from gas asphyxiation. After Joe pockets a typed suicide note that implicates Frances in both Vincent's and Shawn's death, he returns to the Keyboard Club, where he and Torp fight. The victorious Joe then accuses Carol, whom he has discovered was also having an affair with Vincent, of murder. Carol pleads innocence, but is startled when a revived Frances enters the club. Eventually, Joe forces Fingers, who is secretly married to Carol, to confess that he killed Vincent out of jealousy, murdered Shawn to silence him and tried to kill Frances because she was about to unravel their scheme. In addition, Fingers admits that Torp beat up Susan because she was blackmailing Carol. As Fingers and Joe then struggle over Fingers' gun, the police arrive and arrest Fingers. Vindicated, Frances faces a happy future with Joe. +

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.