Best Crime Movies of 1944
A rich woman and a calculating insurance agent plot to kill her unsuspecting husband after he signs a double indemnity policy. Against a backdrop of distinctly Californian settings, the partners in crime plan the perfect murder to collect the insurance, which pays double if the death is accidental.
Arsenic and Old Lace
Mortimer Brewster, a newspaper drama critic, playwright, and author known for his diatribes against marriage, suddenly falls in love and gets married; but when he makes a quick trip home to tell his two maiden aunts, he finds out his aunts' hobby - killing lonely old men and burying them in the cellar!
A newlywed fears she's going mad when strange things start happening at the family mansion.
The Woman in the Window
A seductive woman gets an innocent professor mixed up in murder.
Murder, My Sweet
After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.
A mystery woman is a murder suspect's only alibi for the night of his wife's death.
Ministry of Fear
Stephen Neale is released into WWII England after two years in an asylum, but it doesn't seem so sane outside either. On his way back to London to rejoin civilization, he stumbles across a murderous spy ring and doesn't quite know to whom to turn.
The Pearl of Death
The famous Borgia Pearl, a valuable gem with a history of bringing murder and misfortune to its owner since the days of the Borgias, is brought to London, thanks in part to Sherlock Holmes. But before long the jewel is stolen, due to an error on Holmes' part, and shortly thereafter, a series of horrible murders begin, the murderer leaving his victims with their spines snapped and surrounded by a mass of smashed china.
The Scarlet Claw
When a woman is found dead with her throat torn out, the local villagers blame a supernatural monster. But Sherlock Holmes, who gets drawn into the case from nearby Quebec, suspects a human murderer.
The Mask of Dimitrios
A mystery writer is intrigued by the tale of notorious criminal Dimitrios Makropolous, whose dead body was found washed up on the shore in Istanbul. He decides to follow the career of Dimitrios around Europe, in order to learn more about the man. Along the way he is joined by the mysterious Mr. Peters, who has his own motivation.
In occupied France, a convicted thief and murderer escapes the guillotine when a bombing raid strikes the prison, but is quickly re-captured by the inspector of the Surete responsible for his original arrest. Fearing the guillotine more than his actual death, the convict inveigles the inspector to help him with a plan to rescue 100 Frenchmen taken by the Gestapo following an act of sabotage: he will confess to being the saboteur and allow himself to be executed by firing squad, the Gestapo's method of execution, thus freeing the 100 men.
Don't be fooled by the title. Christmas Holiday is a far, far cry from It's a Wonderful Life. Told in flashback, the story begins as Abigail Martin marries Southern aristocrat Robert Monette. Unfortunately, Robert has inherited his family's streak of violence and instability, and soon drags Abigail into a life of misery.
Chinese detective Charlie Chan solves a murder linked to the occult. This movie had an alternative title: Meeting at Midnight.
Two bumbling plumbers are hired by a socialite to fix a leak. A case of mistaken identity gets the pair an invitation to a fancy party and an entree into high society. As expected, things don't go too smoothly
Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat
To solve the murder of a man shot in a locked room, Chan must wade through a Fun House, the writings of an unscrupulous author, and chess pieces.
Charlie Chan in the Secret Service
Charlie Chan is an agent of the US government working in Washington DC and he is assigned to investigate the murder of the inventor of a highly advanced torpedo. Aiding Chan is his overeager but dull-witted son Tommy and his daughter Iris.
Young female models are being strangled. Will law enforcement be able to stop the crime wave before more women become victims?
The Port of 40 Thieves
A widow confesses she murdered her husband and kills two more people before her stepdaughter and an attorney prove her wrong.
Roger Touhy, Gangster
Set during Prohibition, the movie centers on Touhy's rise from small time thug to the city's most powerful bootlegger whose empire is rivaled only by that of Al Capone (who is referred to, but never named in the story). It is his rival who frames Touhy for kidnapping and arranges for him to serve a life-long term in Stateville prison. Determined to be free again, the desperate Touhy and his cellmate Basil "the Owl" Banghart, begin plotting a violent break out.
Dead Man's Eyes
Artist David Stuart is blinded by a jealous assistant / model. His fiance's father generously offers his eyes for a sight restoring operation. There's only one hitch: Stuart has to wait until after the man dies. Not surprisingly, when the benefactor dies a very premature death, suspicion falls on the artist.
Strangers in the Night
In this Gothic tale, a returning WW2 vet goes looking for a small-town girl whom he knows only from letters. Its the pretext for an off-beat treatment of sexual frustration morphing into a dangerous delusion, and eventually murder.
The Falcon in Hollywood
Suave amateur detective Tom Lawrence--aka Michael Arlen's literary hero The Falcon--arrives in Hollywood for some rest and relaxation, only to find himself involved in the murder of a movie actor. There's no shortage of suspects: the costume designer to whom he was married, a tyrannical director, a beautiful young French starlet, a Shakespeare-quoting producer, even a New York gangster. Helping The Falcon solve the crime is a cute, wise-cracking cab driver and a pair of bumbling cops.
The Last Ride
A police lieutenant is determined to bust the gang of crooks selling defective automobile tires.
Enter Arsène Lupin
A rich but naive young woman is in possession of some priceless jewels. She herself doesn't know it, but a gang of jewel thieves does.
The professional gambler Ross Hadley is the owner of a posh gaming establishment in the heart of New York...
The Falcon Out West
When a Texas playboy is murdered in a New York City nightclub the Falcon investigates. When he learns that the victim was slipped rattlesnake venom, the trail leads to Texas, his own kidnapping and near death.
The Falcon in Mexico
The Falcon travels to Mexico where he gets involved with murder and a mysterious painting.
One Mysterious Night
After a rare gem is stolen from an exhibition at a posh hotel, Inspector Farraday decides to recruit former thief Boston Blackie to find the stone. Along with his assistant, "The Runt", Blackie focuses his investigation on the hotel manager, George Daley, and his sister, Eileen. Through disguises and ruses, Blackie and the Runt try to trick their way to discovering the thieves.
Shadows in the Night
A criminal psychologist tries to help a beautiful heiress going mad in a haunted mansion.
Two zanies get mixed up with a Southern colonel, his beautiful daughters, a nightclub and a haunted mansion.
In New York City, a newly hired photographer becomes embroiled in a scandal when her photo is mistaken for evidence of a murder and she must try to prove her own innocence.
The Case of the Screaming Bishop
Hairlock Combs, a parody of Sherlock Holmes, and his partner Dr. Gotsome bumble through an investigation of a stolen dinosaur skeleton.
Wild Horse Phantom
A lawman stages a prison break so a gang of imprisoned robbers will lead him to their hidden loot.
In this entry in the MGM "Crime Does Not Pay" series young Frank Davis, dropping out of school and joining a small-time hoodlum gang, finds out that leading a life of crime is not all he thought it would be.
A police psychiatrist is enlisted to catch a killer.
End of the Road
A crime writer believes that a man imprisoned for committing the notorious "Flower Shop Murder" is innocent of the crime. He believes he knows who the actual culprit is, and sets out to befriend the man and get enough evidence to prove that he is the real killer.
A Night of Adventure
A lawyer tries to clear his wife's lover of murder charges.
Framed for two crimes he didn't commit, and betrayed by his girl, Cliff Banks finds himself on the run from the police. Now distrustful of everyone, he finds a safe haven hiding out at a quaint country cottage under the care of a kindly old farmer and his daughter, a Cinderella-like blind woman who seems to be able to communicate with nature. There he is forced by their love to question his misanthropy.
Lady in the Death House
As a woman walks the "last mile" to her execution she remembers back to the incidents that got her framed for murder.
The Racket Man
A gangster is drafted into the Army and, soon realizing how wrong his life of crime has been, agrees to help the FBI break up a black market ring by pretending to have been kicked out of service and to have resumed his old life of crime.
Mystery of the Riverboat
A movie serial in 13 chapters: Some swampland becomes valuable, and various factions squabble over ownership of it.
A town is shocked when a high school girl commits suicide. A reporter and a cop team up to investigate and find out exactly what is going on among the youth of the town.
Shadow of Suspicion
Brash ladies' man James Dale and his partner, wisecracking Everett Northrup, are sent by Cartell & Co. jewelers to safeguard the arrival of the famous Stonehaven necklace at one of its branch offices, recently the victim of a jewel robbery.
A priest relates the tale of his friend, a WWI veteran, to the Post-War Planning Committee. Unable to get a job upon his return from the war, he puts off his marriage and works for a bootlegger. He is forced to take a rap for his boss, goes to prison, and forms a gang.
Oh, What a Night!
An international jewel thief tries to keep his secret from his neice.
Follow the Leader
Muggs and Glimpy, two East Side Kids in the army, return to their neighborhood, supposedly on furlough; actually, Muggs has been honorably discharged with a physical defect, but he tells no one of this. Danny, another East Side kid, is in jail because a large amount of medical supplies have been stolen from the warehouse where he works. Muggs see Spider, a new member of the gang, flashing a large amount of money around, and Muggs shrewdly turns toughie, boasting that he has a dishonorable discharge because of thievery. This leads Spider to confide in Muggs that he is the one who has been aiding in the theft of supplies from the warehouse, and he gets paid for the loot by Larry, operator of a nightclub where Muggs' sister, Milly, is an entertainer. Fingers, a henchman for Larry, kills Spider when he learns that Muggs has been let in on the operation. The police then suspect Muggs of killing Spider.
Patrolling the Ether
1940. Sixteen year old Phillip is one of a number of amateur radio operators across the US, doing it purely as a fun hobby. He is informed by Bill Beck of the Radio and Intelligence Division (RID) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that amateur international radio communication is now banned due to spying a result of the war in Europe. Beck, on behalf of the RID, asks Phillip, however, to continue to monitor the airwaves for suspicious activity.
Call of the South Seas
FBI Agent Kendall Gaige goes undercover on a South Seas island in order to expose the underhanded and exploitative business practices of Steve Landrau. In the course of his investigation Gaige is introduce to the Paris-educated native princess Tahia, who believes that he has arrived to save her people from poverty. A romance, of course, ensues as Gaige attempts to expose Landrau before his cover is blown.
The Ghost That Walks Alone
Honeymooners find a dead radio producer in their suite.
Rats in Spats
Live-action short directed by Irv Spence.