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14 user 6 critic

Strange Bargain (1949)

In order to cash-in a life insurance policy, a failing business owner asks one of his employees, who has financial woes of his own, to aid him in disguising his suicide into a robbery-murder.

Director:

Will Price

Writers:

Lillie Hayward (screenplay), J.H. Wallis (based on a story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Martha Scott ... Georgia Wilson
Jeffrey Lynn ... Sam Wilson
Harry Morgan ... Lt. Richard Webb (as Henry Morgan)
Katherine Emery ... Edna Jarvis
Richard Gaines ... Malcolm Jarvis
Henry O'Neill ... Timothy Hearne
Walter Sande ... Sgt. Cord
Michael Chapin ... Roddy Wilson
Arlene Gray ... Hilda Wilson
Raymond Roe ... Sydney Jarvis
Robert Bray ... Det. McTay
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Storyline

Sam Wilson is having a hard time making ends meet. When he asks his boss for a raise, he finds out that the company is closing down and he'll be out of a job. His boss decides to commit suicide so that his family can benefit from his insurance. He asks Sam to help make it look like murder. Sam thinks he has convinced the boss not to commit suicide. But the boss does it anyway, so Sam follows the instructions the boss had given him, to make it look like murder. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"$10,000 If You Make My Suicide Look Like MURDER!"

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sam Wilson See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Murder She Wrote" Season 3 episode Murder, She Wrote: The Days Dwindle Down (1987) was done as a direct sequel to this movie, with Jessica Fletcher trying to figure out if Malcolm Jarvis' death was suicide or murder. In the episode, Jeffrey Lynn, Martha Scott, and Harry Morgan reprised their roles from the earlier film, and original footage from the film was used as flashbacks to tell the story. See more »

Connections

Edited into Murder, She Wrote: The Days Dwindle Down (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sedate but satisfying middle-class thriller
17 December 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

A sedate thriller built upon the insecurities of the newly emergent white-collar class, Strange Bargain offers solid production values and brisk direction. Jeffrey Lynn (who looks like a solution of Ray Milland and Bruce Bennett) is a hard-working family man who earns his keep as an accountant. One morning when the milk bill comes due he screws up his courage to ask for a raise; when he does, his boss tells him that the firm's at the brink of bankruptcy, and lets him go. But wait -- there's more! The boss plans to kill himself but make it look like murder so his wife can collect the insurance; for helping, he offers Lynn $10-grand. Lynn tries to prevent the suicide but arrives too late, finding his boss already dead. Enter a police detective (Harry Morgan) whose instincts tell him all is not as it seems (not only to him, but to us as well). Morgan aside, you're not likely to recognize any of the cast, but the story works itself out neatly and holds your interest. Too polite and middle-class to be true noir, Strange Bargain nontheless delivers what it promises.


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