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Mystery Street (1950) is a black-and-white film noir directed by John Sturges with cinematography by famed lensman John Alton. The MGM film was shot on location in Bostonmarker and Cape Codmarker. Also featured are Harvard Medical Schoolmarker in Roxbury, Massachusettsmarker and Harvard Universitymarker, Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker.


Blonde B-girl Vivian, working at "The Grass Skirt" in Boston talks a drunk in the bar into "borrowing" his car. She drives to Cape Cod with the car's owner drunk by her side. When the man realizes he's miles from Boston he objects and demands that he be taken back. Instead, she ditches him and steals the car. Afterward she meets up with a mysterious man who kills her. A day later the drunk reports the car stolen to his insurance but neglects to mention the blonde as not to get in trouble with his wife. Months later, the B-girl's skeleton washes up on a beach. Barnstablemarker cop Peter Morales (Montalban) teams up with Boston police and uses forensics with the help of Dr. McAdoo, a Harvard doctor (Bennett), to figure out who the woman is.

The cop then tries to figure out how she died and, later, who killed her. Vivian's nosy landlady attempts to blackmail a boyfriend Vivian used to call from her boarding house, going so far as to visit the wealthy married man and steal his gun. Morales tracks down the stolen car from police records and questions Henry Shanway, the drunk man Vivian was with the night she disappeared. Eventually Morales finds Shanway's car and he's identified in a police lineup. The innocent man is arrested and charged with the murder. Morales and Dr. McAdoo find the bullet still stuck in the car. Morales then finds out that the landlady has the gun, but not before she tries to blackmail the owner and is knocked over the head, and later dies. Morales chases the man but loses him. He eventually finds a hidden baggage check in the landlady's room, which sends Morales racing to catch the man before he can get his hands on the murder weapon that would prove his guilt.

Featured cast

Actor Role
Ricardo Montalban Lieutenant Peter Morales
Sally Forrest Grace Shanway
Bruce Bennett Dr. McAdoo at Harvard Medical School
Elsa Lanchester Mrs. Smerrling, the landlady
Marshall Thompson Henry Shanway
Jan Sterling Vivian Heldon

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