This week’s mystery movie was the 1954 Columbia film “Pushover,” with Fred MacMurray, Phil Carey, Kim Novak (her film debut), Dorothy Malone, E.G. Marshall and Allen Nourse.
Screenplay by Roy Huggings, based on stories by Thomas Walsh and William S. Ballinger, gowns by Jean Louis, photography by Lester H. White, art direction by Walter Holscher, film editing by Jerome Thoms, set decoration by James Crowe, makeup by Clay Campbell, hairstyles by Helen Hunt, associate producer Philip A. Waxman, music conducted by Morris Stoloff and musical score by Arthur Morton. Produced by Jules Schermer, directed by Richard Quine.
“Pushover” is available on a DVD set from Amazon.
Writing in the New York Times (July 31, 1954) H.H.T. said:
Fred MacMurray is going through the motions of his “Double Indemnity” role in a mild facsimile of that ice-cold masterpiece called “Pushover.” Title notwithstanding, the task wasn’t easy. Again, as a solid citizen who abruptly murders for money and a sultry blonde, the actor and a newcomer named Kim Novak are running a generally similar course and, naturally, paying the piper.
Viewed strictly on is own, as it should be, this modest Columbia melodrama is a creditable job for about half the time….
Drawn into the conspiracy, an innocent cop tilts the apple cart (Murder No. 2) and Mr. MacMurray meets his doom through a series of pat and circumstantial happenings, as the picture transparently slopes downhill to justice triumphant. Fair enough, certainly….
In contrast to the wide-eyed, undulating Miss Novak, who so obediently hangs on to her lover’s coattails, “Double Indemnity” provided Barbara Stanwyck as much more of a person and one of the meanest killers in screen annals. In addition to its Swiss watch construction, the predecessor dared to have the two disenchanted criminals squaring off fatally.
At any rate, Mr. MacMurray’s present solo is a respectable one. We can still hear Miss Stanwyck reminding him through clenched teeth, “Don’t you ever forget we’re in this thing together — straight down the line.”
For Monday, we have a mysterious gunman and a mysterious officer who does not approve of such goings-on.
Update: This is Robert Stevenson, left, and K.L. Smith.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Paul Richards, and yes he is a mystery guest emeritus from “Tall Man Riding.”
For Wednesday, we have a mystery gent in …. wow look at those lapels.
Update: This is Allen Nourse.
Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (Tuesday’s mystery gent), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery gent), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery gent), Sarah (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery bank guard and Tuesday’s mystery gent).
For Thursday, we have a mystery photo emerita….
Oh, OK. Here she is with a mystery gent and Back Of The Head Guy.
Update: This is Phil Carey, Dorothy Malone and Paul Picerni in the pivotal role of Back of the Head Guy. A mystery guest emerita, Malone also appeared (with Paul Richards) in “Tall Man Riding.”
Brain Trust roll call: L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery gents.
For Friday, we have the absent-minded mystery guest and two mystery companions.
Update: This is Dorothy Malone, Fred MacMurray and the young, lovely Kim Novak.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery bank guard, Tuesday’s mystery holdup guy, and Thursday’s mystery guests), David Inman (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests), Don Danard (Thursday’s mystery woman emerita), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Benito (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests) and Sylvia E. (Monday’s mystery bank guard, Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy).
Note to Mary Mallory: You’re right! Back of the Head Guy is too short to be You Know Who.
Arthur Franz comes to mind.
Alas, I’m afraid not.
The officer looks like a young Richard Boone. As far as the gunman, he scared me away.
Neville Brand as the cop?
Oh that would be fun. But alas, I’m afraid not.
His first name is Paul. The mystery is why can’t I remember his last name.
Paul Richards! That should have been a Pushover.
Paul Richards in PUSHOVER.
Tuesday it’s Paul Richards. He was more involved in more TV shows than movies in the 1950s, so I’ll have to wait for more clues before I know what show or movie this is.
The movie “Pushover” (1954) and the bank guard is K. L. Smith. I can’t believe I missed it on Noir Alley!
Edward Binns on Tuesday.
Is the movie “Vice Squad”?
Interesting guess and you have the right era. But the wrong studio.
Pushover 1954 w/Fred MacMurray, Kim Novack, E.G Marshall, Paul Richards…
Ah-ha! You have very clever, leaving out the ladies of the movie.
Monday – still working on that image
Tuesday – Paul Richards
Wednesday – Allen Nourse (I think)
I meant to say “You ‘have been’ very clever, leaving out the ladies.” Typing too fast as usual.
I’m guessing that Thursday will bring E.G. Marshall and Phil Carey and maybe Dorothy Malone. Friday will bring Fred MacMurray and Kim Novak.
I think Monday maybe James Anderson (with a gun) and K.L. Smith is the guard.
Thursday – Dorothy Malone and Phil Carey and I think BOTH-guy is Paul Picerni
Looking forward to Friday and Saturday.
Fun puzzle. Thanks
My last try on Monday’s guy with the gun. Is it Dick Crockett?
Friday’s anticipated Dorothy Malone, Fred MacMurray and Kim Novak.
PUSHOVER. K. L. Smith as the guard on Monday, Paul Richards Tuesday, Philip Carey and Dorothy Malone today. Is that Fred MacMurray as Back of the Head guy, but he doesn’t seem tall enough.
Dorothy Malone and Phil Carey today, making this “Pushover.”
Phil Carey, Dorothy Malone and Mr. MacMurray.
Monday: Robert Stevenson, K.L. Smith
Tuesday: Paul Richards
Wednesday: Allen Nourse
Thursday: Dorothy Malone, Philip Carey
Philip Carey and Dorothy Malone in PUSHOVER 1954. Poor Fred M, betrayed by a blonde again!
Dorothy Malone, Fred MacMurray, Kim Novak.
Dorothy Malone, Fred MacMurray, and dangerous blonde Kim Novak.
Dorothy, Fred and Kim.
Friday: Pushover (1954) with Fred MacMurray, Dorothy Malone, Kim Novak. Thursday’s Doorway Guy is Philip Carey.