Pushover (1954). Film noir notable for being the first film to feature Kim Novak in a starring role. The picture also stars Fred MacMurray as a good cop gone bad. It was adapted from two novels, The Night Watch by Thomas Walsh and Rafferty by William S. Ballinger. Other cast members: Philip Carey and Dorothy Malone.
Bank robbers, Harry Wheeler and his partner kill a policeman and pocket $200,000. After the police investigation, headed by Lt. Carl Ekstrom, he knows Wheeler as the man responsible. Eckstrom assigns detective Paul Sheridan to befriend Wheeler's girl friend, Lona McLane.
Paul plans a meeting with Lona and they quickly fall in love. Paul takes Lona to his apartment, then spends the next several days with her.
Later, Eckstrom, Paul and his partner, Rick McAllister, plan a stakeout across from Lona's apartment, and wait for Wheeler to contact her. They watch as Lona leaves the apartment, Paul follows her, to his apartment. He meets her there and she accuses him of being a cop. Paul admits to being a detective, but tells her that he has been seeing her for personal reasons. Lona tells him that she is frightened of Wheeler and says that she did not know about his criminal activities. Lona asks what would happen to Wheeler if she turned him in and that she and Paul keep the money, he angrily demands she leave.
It won't be easy for Paul to get his hands on the money when he's part of the investigation. Soon, he's in much deeper than he wants to be. This story becomes quite exciting as a crooked cop tries to cover his tracks.
This maybe an underrated, little known crime melodrama from the mid-'50s. Fred MacMurray, in another movie where he is seduced by the charms of a femme fatale.
Her film career reached its peak in the 1960's and she achieved later success with her television role of Constance MacKenzie on Peyton Place from 1964 to 1968.
Less active in her later years, Malone returned to film in 1992 as the friend of Sharon Stone's character in Basic Instinct.
Philip Carey, performed in the films: I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951), This Woman is Dangerous with Joan Crawford (1952) Calamity Jane with Doris Day (1953), Pushover (1954), The Long Gray Line (1955) and Monster (1979).