Please Murder Me (1956)

76 or 78 mins | Drama | March 1956

Director:

Peter Godfrey

Producer:

Donald Hyde

Cinematographer:

Alan Stensvold

Production Designer:

Nicolai Remisoff

Production Company:

Gross-Krasne, Inc.
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HISTORY

The opening credits featured the cast, writers, director and producers. The crew appeared in the closing credits. Please Murder Me was the first film made by Gross-Krasne, Inc., which was run by executive producers Jack J. Gross and Philip N. ... More Less

The opening credits featured the cast, writers, director and producers. The crew appeared in the closing credits. Please Murder Me was the first film made by Gross-Krasne, Inc., which was run by executive producers Jack J. Gross and Philip N. Krasne. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Feb 1956.
---
Daily Variety
6 Feb 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Feb 56
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 1955
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 56
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Feb 56
p. 786.
Variety
8 Feb 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Supv film ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Casting dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on a teleplay by E. A. Dupont and David Chantler on Big Town (CBS, 1954).
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1956
Production Date:
early September--mid September 1955 at California Studios
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
76 or 78
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17780
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After purchasing a handgun at a pawnshop one evening, attorney Craig Carlson returns to his office and begins dictating a message to District Attorney Ray Willis announcing that in less than an hour, Craig will be dead. Craig explains that the situation leading to this turn of events began with the development of his close friendship with Joe Leeds, Craig’s former marine sergeant who saved his life in combat during the second world war. Then, six months ago, Craig met with Joe for a serious discussion: Joe meets Craig at the law offices where Craig reveals that Joe’s wife of two years, Myra, has fallen in love with another man. Suspecting that Myra has asked Craig to represent her in a divorce proceeding, Joe questions Craig and is taken aback when Craig confesses that he is the other man. Grateful for Craig’s honesty, Joe states that he needs a couple of days to consider the announcement, then departs. Puzzled by Joe’s subdued response, Craig visits Myra, who urges him to take no action until Joe responds. Some nights later, Joe’s business partner, Lou Kazarian, stops at their office and finds Joe in a pensive and tense mood. Joe admits to having personal problems, but asserts that he has reached a conclusion that will likely change his and Myra’s life. Before departing, Joe telephones Myra to tell her that he is coming home early, then gives Joe gives Lou a letter and asks him to mail it. Shortly after Joe arrives home, he is murdered and Myra reports to the police that she shot her husband in self-defense after he attacked ... +


After purchasing a handgun at a pawnshop one evening, attorney Craig Carlson returns to his office and begins dictating a message to District Attorney Ray Willis announcing that in less than an hour, Craig will be dead. Craig explains that the situation leading to this turn of events began with the development of his close friendship with Joe Leeds, Craig’s former marine sergeant who saved his life in combat during the second world war. Then, six months ago, Craig met with Joe for a serious discussion: Joe meets Craig at the law offices where Craig reveals that Joe’s wife of two years, Myra, has fallen in love with another man. Suspecting that Myra has asked Craig to represent her in a divorce proceeding, Joe questions Craig and is taken aback when Craig confesses that he is the other man. Grateful for Craig’s honesty, Joe states that he needs a couple of days to consider the announcement, then departs. Puzzled by Joe’s subdued response, Craig visits Myra, who urges him to take no action until Joe responds. Some nights later, Joe’s business partner, Lou Kazarian, stops at their office and finds Joe in a pensive and tense mood. Joe admits to having personal problems, but asserts that he has reached a conclusion that will likely change his and Myra’s life. Before departing, Joe telephones Myra to tell her that he is coming home early, then gives Joe gives Lou a letter and asks him to mail it. Shortly after Joe arrives home, he is murdered and Myra reports to the police that she shot her husband in self-defense after he attacked her. Craig, acting as Myra’s lawyer, remains puzzled by his friend’s actions, but when police detective Lt. Bradley places Myra under arrest, vows to clear her of the murder charge. During the highly publicized trial, Craig successfully casts doubt on each of Ray’s allegations against Myra and in his summation, declares that Joe attacked Myra because she was in love with another man, then reveals that he is that man. Stunned by the revelation, the jury and judge acquit Myra. After Myra’s release, Craig throws a small party at his apartment and suggests to Myra that they marry the following week and honeymoon in Capri, but Myra hesitates. They are interrupted by Lou’s arrival and request to speak privately with Craig. Lou gives Craig a letter, explaining that Joe had left it with him the night he was killed and Lou had placed it into his tuxedo pocket and forgotten it until putting on the same outfit for the party. In the letter Joe tells Craig that he married Myra believing she loved him, only to have her tell him some months later that she did not care for him. When Joe asked her if she wanted a divorce, Myra agreed and demanded half of his successful market-chain business, which Joe refused. Joe then reveals that he learned Myra was in love not with Craig, but an artist, and cautions Craig against Myra’s lies. At the end of the letter, Joe declares his determination to convince Myra to remain with him and hopes that Craig will not be hurt. Stunned, Craig considers the information and immediately suspects a stranger who visited Myra in jail, Carl Holt, may be the artist mentioned in Joe’s letter. The following day, Craig visits Carl, an affable, struggling painter who admits he has known and been in love with Myra since they attended college together. When Craig asks about Joe, Carl admits Myra has always been blinded by money and made a mistake marrying Joe, during which time she and Carl did not see one another. Carl confesses that he met with Joe to ask him to divorce Myra and believes this motivated Joe’s attack on Myra, but she refused his offer to testify to this at the trial. Carl also expresses admiration for Craig’s courtroom confession, believing it was an admirable but untrue ploy to sway the jury. After the visit, Craig goes to Myra’s apartment and confronts her with his knowledge of Carl, which she readily admits. Craig then reads Joe’s letter to Myra and states that her refusal to accept Joe’s divorce without half of the business proves she murdered him to ensure that she would inherit his estate. Knowing that she cannot be tried for the same crime twice, Craig declares his intention to force Myra to kill him to avenge Joe and bring her to justice. Determined to convince Carl of Myra’s true character, Craig returns to the artist’s apartment where he finds Carl with Myra planning to depart the next day for Europe. Craig asks Carl if he would delay his trip to paint Craig’s portrait for $2,500. Despite Myra’s protestations, Carl agrees, pleased to be able to earn the sizeable fee rather than depend on Myra’s support. That night, Myra visits Craig and offers him several thousand dollars to cancel his agreement with Carl, but the lawyer refuses, declaring he will prove Myra’s guilt to Carl. After the portrait is completed two weeks later, Craig arranges to meet Carl and Myra at a restaurant. Terrified that Craig intends to reveal everything to Carl, Myra attempts to dissuade him from seeing Craig, but Carl insists upon it. At the meeting, Craig thanks Carl for his work and presents him with a check for double the amount promised. The next evening, Craig asks Myra to visit him at his office, then purposely invites Ray, knowing that Myra will panic to see the district attorney with him. After Ray’s departure, Craig shows Myra a file that he plans to give to Carl that contains proof of her guilt. Although frightened that Craig will give the file to Carl, Myra insists that she will not kill him for it and flees. Over the next few days, Myra telephones Craig repeatedly, but he refuses to take her calls, intending to heighten her fears. In the present, Craig concludes his recording to Ray, stating he has agreed to meet Myra momentarily and hopes to record her committing murder. Myra arrives and pleads with Craig not to ruin her chance to live happily with Carl and asks him to give her the file. Craig offers her the handgun and states the only way she will prevent him from telling Carl everything is to kill him. Craig then begins dialing Ray’s number as Myra hysterically begs him to hang up. When Craig continues dialing, Myra shoots him, then grabs the file which, to her shock, contains only blank pages. Summoned by Craig earlier, Ray arrives and Myra advises him that Craig has committed suicide. Ray telephones the police, then finds the microphone and the tape player still running. As Ray rewinds the tape, Myra realizes she is defeated. +

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

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