Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Scene of the Crime


Van Johnson is a LA cop investigating the murder of another cop, who may be dirty. He had $1000 in cash on him when he was killed. Van doesn’t believe it, of course, and this being 1949, I didn’t expect he would be, either. Dirty cops was not a subject they made a lot of movies about in those days. He’s married to Arlene Dahl who, you’ll never guess … that’s right, who wants him to quit the cops because she’s worried all the time that he will get killed. Gloria DeHaven is the bad girl stripper he is attracted to but is too straight arrow to do anything about it. This is all pretty standard stuff, you’ve seen it all before. The one thing I noticed was some of the slang. I’d never heard of most of it. It didn’t ring right.

One amazing thing: Norman Lloyd, who as a young man specialized in playing slimy weasels—he was the saboteur in Hitchcock’s Saboteur, the guy who fell off the Statue of Liberty at the end—is still alive, turned 100 a few days ago (November 8, 2014)! And he still plays tennis, something he has done since he was eight!

And you often learn something about a movie or a star if you go to Wiki. Apparently it was common knowledge that Van Johnson was gay, but I didn’t know it. He had a marriage of convenience to Eve Abbott that lasted a little over twenty years.