Crime of Passion (1957): Film Noir, Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden and Raymond Burr

Gerd Oswald’s third feature, Crime of Passion, a B-level noir crime, was written by Jo Eisinger, and starred Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden and Raymond Burr.

Crime of Passion

Theatrical release poster

Lieutenant Bill Doyle, a Los Angeles police detective, and his partner, Captain Charlie Alidos, track a fugitive wanted for murder to San Francisco. He meets Kathy Ferguson, a newspaper advice columnist, and they fall in love.

After gaining the female fugitive’s trust and locate her. she writes a front page story, which leads to a big job offer in New York, but she abandons her career, marries Bill and moves to Los Angeles.

However, her new role as suburban wife and homemaker makes her unhappy–she wants her husband to move up in the world, to become “somebody.”

But Bill has different values; he wants a comfortable lifestyle, no more. Kathy schemes to push her husband up without his knowledge. She arranges to get into a car accident with Alice Pope, in order to become acquainted with her husband, Police Inspector Tony Pope, head of Bill’s division.

The police department works on Pope’s murder investigation, and when the murder weapon is discovered, Bill figures out the killer was his own wife since she was present when the gun went missing.

Confessing, she tells Bill, “Now I’ll know just how much of a cop you really are.” Bill responds, “The same cop you met in Frisco. Same cop I was 10 years ago, pounding a beat.” He then drives her to police headquarters.

Barbara Stanwyck as Kathy Ferguson Doyle
Sterling Hayden as Police Lieutenant Bill Doyle
Raymond Burr as Police Inspector Anthony Pope
Fay Wray as Alice Pope
Virginia Grey as Sara Alidos
Royal Dano as Police Captain Charlie Alidos
Robert Griffin as Police Sergeant Jame
Dennis Cross as Police Sergeant Jules
Jay Adler as Mr. Nalence
Stuart Whitman as Laboratory Technician

Produced by Herman Cohen
Screenplay by Jo Eisinger
Music by Paul Dunlap
Cinematography Joseph LaShelle
Edited by Marjorie Fowler

Production: Robert Goldstein Productions

Distributed by United Artists

Release date: January 9, 1957

Running time: 86 minutes


Films directed by Gerd Oswald

A Kiss Before Dying (1956)
The Brass Legend (1956)
Crime of Passion (1957)
Fury at Showdown (1957)
Valerie (1957)
Paris Holiday (1958)
Screaming Mimi (1958)
The Day the Rains Came (1959)
Brainwashed (1960)
Storm Over Ceylon (1963)
Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966)
80 Steps to Jonah (1969)
Bunny O’Hare (1971)
To the Bitter End (1973)


TCM showed the movie on August 1, 2020.