Dead Reckoning

Synopsis: Rip Murdock and Johnny Darke are en route to Washington when Johnny disappears and then turns up dead. Rip learns that Johnny had been accused of murder and sets out to find out what he can. He falls in love with Coral whose husband Johnny is supposed to have killed.
Director(s): John Cromwell
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
100 min

Get your Sunday morning paper!

Get your Sunday morning paper!

Get your Sunday morning paper here!

Paper! Morning paper!

Well, goodbye, Father.

- It's wonderful having you back.

- Good to be back.

- It'll be tame after where you've been.

- I can stand it if the parish can.

Good night.

Father. Over here, sir.


I've got to talk to you.

I'm a stranger here.

I gotta tell somebody,

in case anything happens to me.

- Happens to you?

- If you'll just listen.

- Sorry it's in church...

- You're not Catholic?

No. You're Father Logan, aren't you?

The Jumping Padre,

always first out of the plane?

You don't know me. I've heard of you.

I'm a paratrooper too, ex-paratrooper.

All the more reason to listen.

I was...

If you'll just hear me out.

I haven't much time.

What's the trouble? I'll not only

hear you out, I'll help you.

No, you can't. Not in this.

The cops are after me. Not that

I've done anything wrong...

...but a couple of tough customers

want to get their mitts on me.

Grab me as soon as I show

in the streets again.

I want somebody

to know what happened...

...for a friend's sake,

to clear his name.

What is his name?

Johnny, a pal of mine.

He was a paratrooper too.

It's like this, sir. A few days ago

they flew Johnny and me...

...home from France

in a stripped-down bomber.

Neither of us knew why the Army

took us out of a Paris hospital.

We'd been under treatment for my

shoulder and Johnny's punctured lung.

You see, only high-priority cargo

rides a bomb-rack all by itself.

Why we rated it,

nobody could or would tell us.

At La Guardia,

we find a welcoming committee...

... with a lieutenant colonel from

Public Relations, not the Medical Corps.

He was in a sweat because we were

late due to winds over the Atlantic...

... and Washington, D. C. Was fogged in.

He hoped they'd hold

the Limited for 10 minutes.

All the way to Penn station

I tried to feel out the colonel...

... but he'd only grin. They'd

actually held the Limited for us.

Somebody sure enough wanted us

in Washington, but now!

By the time we rolled into Philly,

I was feeling okay.

Houses with roofs on them,

women with nylons, kids that eat.

Houses with roofs on them,

women with nylons, kids that eat.

I can't believe it!

When you get on as a professor,

and I'm running my cabs in St. Louis...

...send me up a problem

in algebra, will you?

- Blond or brunette?

- Redhead in a sloppy joe sweater.

You're a great guy too, if that's what

this is about. Even in the U.S.A.

- Listen, soldier...

- I'll drop in on St. Louis for a drink.

- Careful you don't swallow that pin.

- You should know nothing good ends.

You're dreaming

about that blond again.

I was remembering her low voice

and how bad her grammar was.

And how you taught her English.

My life is simpler. I was thinking

about that girl at the bar.

- You don't even know her.

- What difference does that make?

- Besides, she looked sad.

- Well, I'm the comforting type.

Why don't you get rid of the grief you

got for that blond, whoever she is?

Every mile we go, you sweat worse

with the same pain.

All females are the same

with their faces washed.

Say, we're dynamite!

Priority 1 -A!

That's how the president travels.

- Where did you get that?

- Out of Silver-Leaf.

You'll have us up

before a general court!

- At ease, sergeant.

- Put them back, Rip.

What's wrong with reconnaissance?

"Confidential." This will tell us.

- Give me those!

- Okay.

- Sgt. Drake, isn't that my blouse?

- Yeah, how come, sergeant?

And where did you get those papers?

Come on, speak up.

The papers fell down, your blouse

dropped, the captain said to hang it.

- What's the matter with your mouth?

- Personal secret. Never lets go of it.

Six-two and even, he swallows it,

his senior sorority pin.

I peeked at your papers,

and he rescued them.

You went through my papers?

The war's over. Where are we going

and why? We don't like secrets.

Thank you. I should have known better

than try to hold back from men...

...who have operated the way

you have behind enemy lines.

I wanted Gen. Steele to see

your faces when you heard.

Cold Steele?

It's his doing that

your recommendation passed.

- Johnny's congressional?

- Congressional?

There were certain errors

in your report of the incident.

Don't tell me the guys

in Washington refused?

Those guys decided to award

the Congressional Medal to Drake...

...and the Distinguished Service Cross

to the officer with him.

How's that?

The congressional. Won't you

look pretty standing up there?

Maybe he'll even let you

sit on his piano.

- With the newsreels grinding.

- In Technicolor.

What's the gripe?

That's the best they've got.

You shouldn't have done it!

Sometimes you go soft-headed.

I'd like to see a blond do that to me.

- What's the gimmick?

- Basic grammar.

- I'll bet she talks beautifully now.

- Think so?

You look like the first time you

jumped. Look, kid, if it's trouble...

Yeah, we had some, didn't we?

Not like this, though.

Quit living inside there.

If you can't tell me...

I can tell you.

I just don't want any medal.

Is that all you don't want?

- Captain Murdock?

- On the hoof.

Camera boys would like

shots of you two.

Could you come out?

You only stop here for 5 minutes.

- The city of brotherly love?

- To New Yorkers. They don't live here.

I'm all for love, son.

Come on, hero.

And that's an order.

Washington hasn't released a story.

What gives?

Washington hasn't released a story.

What gives?

Drake's the story. I'm not.

You see Johnny here... Johnny?

Sergeant Drake!


I didn't like that salute.

There was something final about it.

I got it alright why Johnny

had taken a powder.

He'd faked a birth certificate

to enlist. John Joseph Preston, eh?

The Yale pin said so.

All I needed was a telephone.

Sorry, gorgeous. I'd let you have it,

only it's long distance.

Yale University.

Hello, Yale?

Give me your top man there.

What college? Yale, of course.

Okay, so it's a university.

How would I know? I just own taxis.

Yeah, one of my men found a pin

with a name on it, class of 1940.

I want his address so I can

return it to him. Thanks, lovely.

General, if you won't authorize me

to go after him...

...l'm afraid I'll have to go anyway.

Yes, sir.

I have a good idea of where he is.

But we don't want

Intelligence in this.

I regret to say, sir, yes.

That's right, sir. I refuse.

The last address Yale had for Preston

was a town I'd never heard of.

Welcome to Gulf City, Mr. Murdock.


Yes, a room is reserved for you.

Nobody knew I was coming.

- Warren Murdock, and from St. Louis.

- I don't get it, but I'll take it.

It's our best. The gentleman

who telephoned insisted.

- Then it's for me, all right.

- Front, boy.

Geronimo, the paratroopers'jump call.

It was Johnny, all right.

We could read each other's minds.

He knew I'd want to help. He'd seen

me look at the back of his pin.

Rate this script:1.3 / 3 votes

Oliver H.P. Garrett

Oliver H.P. Garrett (May 6, 1894 – February 22, 1952) was an American film director, writer, newspaperman, rifleman and usher. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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