Mystery Street - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mystery Street Reviews

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January 11, 2016
Solid police procedural (shot with noir lighting by John Alton) starring Ricardo Montalban as a Cape Cod detective who needs the help of a forensic scientist from Harvard when a skeleton turns up on the beach. Of course, we already know who the victim is (a local "B" girl) - and some of her scuzzy wrongdoings that have ensnared Marshall Thompson (as the typical noir fall guy plucked by the fickle finger of fate). Playing like a long lost episode of C. S. I., the film relies heavily on the forensic evidence (hair, bones, bullet fragments) as well as a bit of legwork and luck. Elsa Lanchester has a good turn as a shifty rooming house owner. Very nicely paced throughout and worth a look for mystery aficionados.
June 12, 2015
Excellent film noir from the gifted director John Sturges ( The Great Escape, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Magnificent Seven) and staring the young Ricardo Montalban (Fantasy Island) in an atypical dramatic role. Also costarring Elsa Lanchester as the boarding house owner with questionable values. Set in a time long before CSI, a police detective decides to enlist a Harvard professor to solve a murder mystery. I found this to be a surprising pearl of a move that I enjoyed.
½ February 17, 2015
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Rocardo Montalban stars as the police detective investigating the murder of a dancer who picks up a drunk customer, steals his car and ultimately winds up murdered in this excellent example of criminal forensics and police procedural drama.
½ February 6, 2015
A good film noir movie one of the first movies filmed in Boston and Cape Cod and the movie had a c.s.I. Concept 40 years before C.S.I.
½ December 23, 2014
Always wonderul to see young Montalban, though I'd have never believed that he made a film with the excellent Lanchester. Interesting to see early forensic sleuthing in a movie - especially with a respectable & intelligent Latino lead. Overall, a decent flick, & nearly a film-noir at that.
½ April 17, 2014
Not really a film noir but this is a great forensic investigation drama featuring a nicely understated performance by Ricardo Montalban as the detective in charge of the case and a delightful Elsa Lanchester as the neurotic boarding house owner.
½ April 7, 2014
Interesting early forensic murder investigation; however being one of the first it's the cliche of everything that's copied it since.
November 30, 2013
Solid film noir from director John Sturges. The film was also co-written by Richard Brooks and short by ace cinematographer John Alton. Another treat is that the film has a young Ricardo Montalban getting to pay a typical leading man role as a detective, as opposed to the "ethnic" role he was usually relegated to playing. Watching Montalban in this film and in "Border Incident" really shows that he had some serious screen charisma and would have been a legendary actor if Hollywood and the general public has been ready for a non-white leading man. But to this film in particular, a woman is murdered in Harvard square and investigator Montalban is on the case. The film makes great use of the Boston setting and I believe is the first film to utilized the city for a Hollywood film. Montalban is tough, smart and great in the lead. A very cool noir that I'd never seen before!
October 12, 2013
Well done murder investigation with forensics from Harvard and a pioneering Hispanic policeman. good film noir.
½ October 12, 2013
A Murder mystery that involves forensic analysis and Harvard. Their work saves an innocent man and helps them track down the killer. Montaban plays a good cop who sometimes has to get hard, it was melodramatic at times and a predictable. However the use of forensics must have been groundbreaking for the time.
½ February 28, 2013
Tight forensic murder mystery thriller--The "CSI" Of Its Day!!
½ October 17, 2012
Wonderful movie. Great light, sharp, out of focus, dark and bright glinting dresses and the classic hula lamp... Don't miss.
April 1, 2012
review forthcoming......
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2012
Outstanding film from a Film Noir collection. Ricardo Montaiban plays an detective in trying to solve the murder of a toe dancer outside of Boston. A Man is arrested for her murder but is he the right man, after some time Ricardo Montaiban doesn't think so, he seeks the help of Harvard University to help find real killer. This is an excellent story line for the time period 4 1/2 stars
½ September 11, 2011
Ur-CSI, on-location shooting in Boston and a young Ricardo Montalban make this a noir worth seeking out.
September 6, 2011
Mystery Street follows a young detective, Peter Morales, a boston detective who is assigned a case of dead girl who they believe has been murdered. The film actually opens with the crime. It's sets up exactly what did happen to this young girl, and we witness her murder first hand. What ensues is a murder mystery and one of the first films that I know of which shows scientific/forensic techniques to help solve the crime. This is showcased by the detectives working with a harvard scientist to help after finding the skeletal remains. Mystery Street has enough intrigue to stay entertained but it never really does anything exceptionally well. Its solid but definitely a lesser noir.
½ April 29, 2011
If you can get past seeing Ricardo Montalban as a CSI-type cop (and really, that's a big if - His accent is just too much for this character) then this movie, it's a bit too light for film noir actually, about a cop trying to piece down who killed a showgirl, does have it's moments. We do know from the opening moments of who dunnit, but it's sort of fun watching the cops try to figure out how. There's some usual noir stock characters (the innocent man framed, his nosey wife, the nosey landlord etc) and it's somewhat pedestrian, but there's some bright spots, like Elsa Manchester as the too-smart-for-her-own-good landlady.
March 3, 2011
Basically CSI:Noir circa 1950. An interesting early look at forensic science and a good potboiler.
January 23, 2011
Lacks any real energy or vitality, which is a shame, because Ricardo Montalban makes for a natural and engaging lead. The focus on forensic science is interesting - not quite sure why the film had to be a love letter to Harvard, though. Elsa Lanchester is the film's other highlight, in a typically eccentric turn.
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