Detective Story

Synopsis: Jim McLeod is a hard-nosed and cynical detective. He believes in a strict interpretation of the law and doesn't believe in turning the other cheek. The current object of his zealousness is Karl Schneider, an abortionist responsible for the death of several young women. Schneider's lawyer tells the precinct lieutenant that McLeod has his own personal reasons for going after his client. It turns out that his wife was a patient before they met, although Jim knew nothing of it. His world suddenly turned upside down, McLeod is too late in re-evaluating his priorities.
Director(s): William Wyler
Production: VCI
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
103 min

- Come on.

- No.

I'm not gonna hurt you.

Hurry it up,

and don't keep the wagon waiting.

- Right.

- Hey, hold it for this. I got to get home.

I got a home too.

Book her with my relief.

That's the last wagon.

I'm on my own time.

I don't want to get stuck here

till night court.


I really don't want to inconvenience you.

I'll come back tomorrow.

Come on.

2Ist Squad Detectives, Gallagher.

- Will they shave my head?

- You won't even have to take a bath.

Stand over there, against that chart.

- It smells like what?

- What were you doing in that crowd?

- All right. Give me the address.

- Looking for a fat wallet?

No, just standing.

We'll look into it.

Sorry to keep you waiting.

Does he play it loud?

Well, then, what's your complaint?

But you can't kill a man

for playing the same song.

- Even day and night.

- Five foot three.

I'm sorry, we can't help.

What was the price of this purse

you lifted?


Times I've spent twice as much

for a pocketbook.

- I don't know why. It was crazy.

- Well, you took it.

I didn't need it. I didn't even like it.


Take it easy, girlie.

I'm not going to hurt you.

Let me do the work.

Just supply the finger.

Officer. Officer.

Mrs. Farragut.

Are those people still bothering you?

Worse than ever, Officer.

Why haven't you given me protection?

But I have 12 men guarding you,

one of them my own brother.

I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to offend you.

Atom bombs, that's what they're

making, those foreigners next door.

And they blow this atomic vapor

right through the wall at me.

And they have a man watching me, from

the top of the Empire State Building...

with radar.

- Well, that man we have covered.

- Does the President know about this?

I talked to him just an hour ago.

I'll tell you what. I'm going to double

the guard around you.

Thank you.

You couldn't come yourself, could you?

Well, no, I've got to keep in touch

with the President.

Well, of course. Goodbye.

Thank you so very much, thank you.

- It's all right.

- Thank you.

And every year, she sends me

tickets to the flower show.

Okay, girlie, wash your hands. In there.

Right over there.

- A story in that?

- No, it's just a slob.

Murder, they got me down for Sunday

again. What am I, a Sunday detective?

My kids will grow up

and won't even know me.

There isn't any lock on the door.

Just wash your hands, girlie.

We're due, boys,

it's too quiet around here.

We're overdue for a nice,

juicy homicide.

Not till I'm off duty.

Can't you keep your big mouth shut?

21st Squad Detectives, Gallagher.

What can I do for you, sir?

My name is Sims. Endicott Sims.

I'm an attorney.

- I want to see the Lieutenant.

- What about?

I represent Karl Schneider.

Your office has a warrant out for him.

Schneider, that's McLeod's case.

You'll have to see him about it.

- I asked to see the Lieutenant.

- Just a minute.

Water's coming through the ceiling?

That's a civil action, lady. Call a lawyer.

There's a mouthpiece

by the name of Sims outside.

- Karl Schneider is his client.

- Schneider? Tell him to see McLeod.

- He asked to see you.

- All right, send him in.

Come in, please.

He's in back.

I'm sorry, Lieutenant,

I'll wait here in your office.

It's okay. What about Schneider,

Counselor? Where is he?

He's ready to surrender himself

to your personal custody.

My custody? He's McLeod's squeal.

Each man handles his own case

around here.

I don't want my client to have

any contact with Detective McLeod.


Because I don't want any rubber hose

used on him.

Counselor, how long have you been

practicing law?

We don't assault our prisoners.

My client is not frightened of McLeod

for nothing.

What frightens your client

is McLeod's record for convictions.

He never gives up on a case.

That's what frightens your client.

When can I see McLeod?

He's due any time now.

You can wait in my office.

Thank you.

- So?

- So what?

So, what happens to me now?

You wait here till night court opens.

00. Have you got a lawyer?

- My brother-in-law's a lawyer.

- You're allowed three calls. Call him.

Gee, I hate to, because he's a kind of

a new brother-in-law...

and if my sister finds out, she'll die...

She's in the fourth month, too.

Suit yourself.

The court will appoint you one.

- Gee, I don't know what to do.

- Sit down.

When McLeod gets here,

tell him I want to see him.

Yes, sir.

A booster.

- Hi, Phil.

- Hello, Jim.

- Jim!

- Mary.

Phil, hang onto buster for a minute,

will you?

- What?

- What are you doing here?

Well, I came to file

a missing-husband report.

- How long has he been missing?

- Two days.

Well, young lady,

let's see what we can do for you.

Hey, Sam.

- Where to, Jim?

- Follow that car.

Why, that's Dakis' car. He's inside.

He ain't going nowhere.

Don't let him out of your sight.


You look tired, Jim.

I've been up all night in a cheap

hotel room, waiting to catch a thief.

I might as well have stayed up with you.

I can't sleep when you're not home.

I hate to leave you alone, baby.

Did you see the doctor?


- What'd he say?

- Same as last time.

Look, baby,

we're going to have a boy and a girl...

if we have to upset

the whole medical profession.

- All right, if you say so.

- I say so.

And tonight,

I'm going to take you out to dinner.

- It's a date.

- We'll celebrate.

- Celebrate what?

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Philip Yordan

Philip Yordan (April 1, 1914 – March 24, 2003) was an American screenwriter of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s who also produced several films. He was also known as a highly regarded script doctor. Born to Polish immigrants, he earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois and a law degree at Chicago-Kent College of Law. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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