Detective Story (1951)
This outstanding crime drama was produced and directed by William Wyler. It was based on a play by Sidney Kingsley and features an Academy Award nominated screenplay by Robert Wyler (the producer’s brother) and Philip Yordan (Dillinger (1945)). Director Wyler was also nominated as were Eleanor Parker’s lead actress and Lee Grant’s (screen debut and her first of four Oscar nominations in the category) supporting actress performances.
Kirk Douglas plays a tightly wound (by the book “holier than thou”) workaholic detective who neglects his wife (Parker) and affects everyone else in this “day in the life” of a police precinct story. Grant plays a shoplifter whose character observes the day’s goings-on. George Macready plays an abortion doctor that Douglas’s character has been trying to bust; later he learns that his wife has a secret past involving this doctor. Character actress Gladys George is involved in this subplot as well. William Bendix plays another detective who’s not as hard-edged as Douglas’s; Cathy O’Donnell plays Susan Carmichael a woman whose boyfriend for whom Bendix’s character has sympathy is caught embezzling. Horace McMahon plays Douglas’s Lieutenant (e.g. boss); Frank Faylen plays another detective.