Best Crime Movies of 1953
The Big Heat
Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.
Pickup on South Street
In New York City, an insolent pickpocket, Skip McCoy, inadvertently sets off a chain of events when he targets ex-prostitute Candy and steals her wallet. Unaware that she has been making deliveries of highly classified information to the communists, Candy, who has been trailed by FBI agents for months in hopes of nabbing the spy ringleader, is sent by her ex-boyfriend, Joey, to find Skip and retrieve the valuable microfilm he now holds.
Unable, due to the seal of the confessional, to be forthcoming with information that would serve to clear himself during a murder investigation, a priest becomes the prime suspect.
An ambulance driver gets involved with a rich girl that might have a darker side.
Roy and Gilbert's fishing trip takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker they pick up turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law. He's killed before, and he lets the two know that as soon as they're no longer useful, he'll kill again. The two friends plot an escape, but the hitchhiker's peculiar physical affliction, an eye that never closes even when he sleeps, makes it impossible for them to tell when they can make a break for it.
The Tell-Tale Heart
One of the most discussed and imaginative cartoons of any era. It tells the famous Edgar Allan Poe story of the deranged boarder who had to kill his landlord, not for greed, but because he possessed an "evil eye." The killer is never seen but his presence is felt by the use light-and-shadow to give the impression of impending disaster.
Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter. The other two former cellmates then attempt to force him into doing a bank job.
99 River Street
A former boxer --now taxi driver-- gets mixed up with jewel thieves.
On the run from the police, an atheist masquerades as a religious icon.
The Blue Gardenia
Deeply distraught that her GI ex-boyfriend plans to marry another woman, Norah Larkin agrees to go out on a date with lothario Harry Prebble. Norah's drunken night out with Prebble ends in a hazily remembered confrontation and the next day a startling discovery: Harry has been murdered, and the police have found Norah's personal effects at the scene. Tipped off to the breaking news, reporter Casey Mayo invites Norah to tell her side of the story.
The Long Memory
1953 British noir thriller, starring John Mills. An innocent man is released from prison after 12 years and tracks down the witnesses who lied about him in court. Based on a 1951 novel by Howard Clewes.
A woman is kidnapped when she goes to get help for her husband who is trapped on a beach with the tide coming in to surely drown him.
When selfish and arrogant millionaire Donald Carson fractures his leg during a desert vacation, his wife, Geraldine, leaves with their friend Joseph Duncan to supposedly get help. However, the two of them are really lovers who are leaving Carson to die in the heat. Slowly, Carson realizes he is on his own and vows revenge on the traitorous couple. Having had a privileged life, Carson must now use his wits to stay alive.
Escaped convicts hold hostages in a ghost town targeted for a nuclear bomb test.
City That Never Sleeps
Chicago cop Johnny Kelly, dissatisfied with his job and marriage, would like to run away with his stripper girlfriend Angel Face, but keeps getting cold feet. During one crowded night, Angel Face decides she's had enough vacillation, and crooked lawyer Biddel has an illegal mission for Johnny that could put him in a financial position to act. But other, conflicting schemes are also in progress...
A supermodel gets murdered. While investigating the case the story of a waitress turned glamor girl is revealed.
Beat the Devil
The script, which was written on a day-to-day basis as the film was being shot, concerns the adventures of a motley crew of swindlers and ne'er-do-wells trying to lay claim to land rich in uranium deposits in Kenya as they wait in a small Italian port to travel aboard an ill-fated tramp steamer en route to Mombasa.
After a stagecoach holdup, Frank Slayton's notorious gang leave Ben Warren for dead and head off with his fiancée. Warren follows, and although none of the townspeople he comes across are prepared to help, he recruits two others who have sworn revenge on the ruthless Slayton.
Grand National Night
The story of a husband's implication in his wife's death, his stupid disposal of her body and the police enquiry which almost embroils him in a murder charge.
Man in the Attic
London, 1888: on the night of the third Jack the Ripper killing, soft-spoken Mr. Slade, a research pathologist, takes lodgings with the Harleys, including a gloomy attic room for "experiments." Mrs. Harley finds Slade odd and increasingly suspects the worst; her niece Lily (star of a decidedly Parisian stage revue) finds him interesting and increasingly attractive. Is Lily in danger, or are her mother's suspicions merely a red herring?
When Ex Colonel Merton discovers a burglar ransacking his home, he is shocked to find out that the thief is a former soldier from his tank regiment. When the thief escapes, Merton tries to contact former members of the regiment, in order to find out what set the thief on the road to crime.
Turn the Key Softly
A bitter burglar (Yvonne Mitchell), a prostitute (Joan Collins) and an elderly shoplifter spend their first day out of jail.
London policewomen handle rescues and larceny as they go about their work in Chelsea.
The Glass Web
The ice-cold diva Paula ruthlessly exploits the guys she dates. While blackmailing the married Don with a recent one-night-stand, she has a secret affair with Henry, who works as researcher for the weekly authentic TV show "Crime of the Week", which Don writes for. When Henry fails to help her to a role, she insults him deadly... and ends up dead herself. Now Don desperately tries to hide his traces, but Henry sabotages his efforts and suggests he write the unsolved murder case for next week's show...
Three young men train to become motorcycle cops.
Three Steps to the Gallows
A U.S. sailor (Scott Brady) docks in London and in three days tries to save his brother from the gallows.
A British girl (Glynis Johns) disappears for three days after a frank talk with the wife (Gene Tierney) of a Latin teacher (Leo Genn) she loves.
A Los Angeles police captain (Edward G. Robinson) ties the case of a slain policeman to a bank robbery, all in a day.
An American military officer (Joel McCrea) and his wife (Evelyn Keyes) move to a cottage in what they think is the peaceful English countryside, only to discover the area is a hotbed of spies and secret agents. Director Robert Parrish's 1952 British espionage thriller--with a climax set at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London--also stars Herbert Lom, Marius Goring, Roland Culver, Frank Lawton and Megs Jenkins.
Rocky the gangster kidnaps Tweety Bird for a million dollar ransom and holes up in an abandoned city building...
One Girl's Confession
Cleo Moore stars as Mary Adams, whose first step on the road to ruin is a $25,000 robbery. Mary hides the money, then confesses to the crime, secure in the belief that she can dig up the loot upon her release from prison.
The Man From Cairo
"The Man from Cairo", a Michaeldavid production for distribution by Lippert, with Ray Enright the only credited director on the film print, finds Mike Canelli, the man from Cairo, nosing around Algiers with mystery surrounding the people he meets and the things he does and has done to him, all deriving from the war-time theft of $100,000,000 in gold which lies somewhere in the adjacent desert. People representing many nationalities and reasons are also seeking the gold. It boils down to a battle between Canelli and the original looter aboard a speeding train.
The Yellow Balloon
A young boy is blackmailed by a crook who saw him unwittingly cause his friend's death.
Man in the Dark
A prisoner undergoes experimental brain surgery in order to get early parole. He released but has no memories. Things get dangerous when a group of thugs go after him in search of loot he hid before his amnesia.
Forbidden bears traces of several earlier film noirs, with Tony Curtis filling the shoes vacated by the likes of Alan Ladd, Dick Powell and Robert Mitchum. Curtis acquits himself very nicely as a small-time hood sent to Macao by gangster Lyle Bettger to locate Joanne Dru, the widow of another gangster.
A Slight Case of Larceny
Two nitwits decide to open a gas station. Comedy.
Street of Shadows
A saloon owner falls in love with the abused wife of a heavy gambler. He is snared into a web of intrigue when an ex-girlfriend is found murdered in his apartment.
Remains to Be Seen
A singer and her apartment manager get mixed up in a creepy Park Avenue murder and find themselves facing danger at every turn.
A Psycho stalks the streets of Greenwich Village, killing and cutting off their hair!
Noose for a Lady
An amateur detective races against time to clear the name of his cousin, who is accused of murdering her husband. It is based on the novel Whispering Woman by Gerald Verner.
Something for an Empty Briefcase
Joe wants a different future than one as a petty hoodlum and when he attempts to rob an aspiring dancer Noli, he glimpses the possibilities. He imagines purchasing a briefcase as a start but his crime partner is reluctant to let him go.
Count the Hours!
A lawyer defends a migrant worker in a sensational murder trial.
The Girl on the Pier
Sometimes listed as a horror film, the British Girl on the Pier is a Spartan little melodrama starring the alluring Veronica Hurst as the title character. The wife of wax museum curator Campbell Singer, Hurst carries on with Singer's partner Ron Randell. Killing Randell, the cuckolded husband tries to hide the body among his waxworks. The police eventually catch on when Singer proves too clever for his own good. Girl on the Pier doesn't pretend to be a classic; on its own terms, it's an agreeable 65 minutes out of your life.
Los Angeles, 1953. The author David L. "Dave" Brady wants to bring a missed ex-newspaperman back to Los Angeles. Therefore Dave has to travel to Mexico City. Dave gets involved with a murder case that occurred fifteen years ago. It's an obsession for Dave to solve that murder.
Retitled The Slasher in the US. The gruesome story of a violent man who finally goes too far.
The Large Rope
After being framed for a murder he didn't commit, Tom Penney (Donald Houston) serves his time and returns to his rural English home to establish a quiet life. When another victim is found, however, Tom is blamed for the crime and flees rather than returnng to prison. Hoping to find the real killer -- or killers -- Tom investigates while keeping a low profile to elude his pursuers, and a vital clue leads him on the path to possible redemption.
Escape by Night
An Italian racketeer on the run in London holes up in a disused theatre with a hard-drinking journalist out to get the full story.
Francis Covers the Big Town
A man who has a talking mule gets a job on a newspaper, and both get mixed up in a murder trial.
When his wife stops writing to him and his letters are returned unanswered, Dan becomes extremely concerned about her welfare. He returns home but is only able to meet with her briefly before she is found murdered. Dan is the obvious suspect but has only 36 hours to find out who murdered her. In so doing he uncovers a shocking catalogue of his wife's past affairs and an identity that he knew nothing about.
The Flanagan Boy
Johnny Flanagan did not have the privileges of a good education or wealthy background but the streets developed his natural talent to be a great fighter. His enormous potential to reach the top is born out of a string of spectacular successes. All of which is brought to a halt when he develops a physical relationship with his manager's wife, the beautiful but manipulative Lorna. His naive temperament is no match for her callous, dispassionate scheming and he unwittingly becomes a pawn in Lorna's ultimate plan... .to murder her husband.