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Please Murder Me

1956

No more uploads I was very satisfied with FTP uploading at archive.org. I was able to see exactly how much of the upload had been completed. I was able to see the rate at which the upload was progressing. And, perhaps most important of all, I was able to resume an interrupted upload. In other words, if I had uploaded 90% of a file when the connection was lost, all I had to do was reconnect and upload the remaining 10%. The programmers at archive.org have eliminated the best way of uploading, uploading via FTP. They have decided to force everyone to use an inferior, cruder method. The programmers at archive.org want you to be completely dependent upon and at the mercy of Adobe Corporation; in other words, they want you to use the Flash uploader. When using the Flash uploader, there is a progress indicator that gives only a very rough idea of how much of the file has been uploaded. There is nothing to indicate the rate at which the upload is progressing. There is no way to resume an interrupted upload. The Flash uploader is much more primitive than uploading by FTP. When attempting to use the non-flash uploader, this message appears: "Unfortunately we do not have upload progress feedback while files transfer during this (non-flash) method." And, of course, there is no way to resume an interrupted upload. Unbelievably crude. But the incompetent programmers at archive.org will probably tell you that the non-FTP methods of uploading are "way kewl" and have lots of nifty blinking lights. When the programmers at archive.org removed the best way of uploading, they didn't make it easier to upload. They made it harder. They probably resented that the best way made their ways seem so clunky by comparison. And they felt that they needed to make it appear that they were earning their paychecks by making some sort of an "improvement". It seems that they have no interest in making things easier for contributors to archive.org and that they are only interested in making things easier for themselves. I have uploaded over 200 videos (feature films and television shows) to archive.org. Since the programmers at archive.org have used their time to sabotage FTP uploading, I will be unable to upload any more videos.

How's that for a title? Lawyer Raymond Burr (seeming very much like Perry Mason) brilliantly defends Angela Lansbury, who seems certain to be found guilty of murdering her husband, who was Burr's best friend! Instead of spoiling it for you, I'll just say that a couple of surprises lie ahead for him. It's a wonder this film was allowed to become p.d. Don't miss it.

Also appearing are Dick Foran, John Dehner, Lamont Johnson, and Denver Pyle. You can load the mpeg2 file into DVDAuthorGUI (a free program) and create a DVD to watch on your television.


Please Murder Me is a 1956 American film directed by Peter Godfrey (director), and starring Angela Lansbury and Raymond Burr.<>.</>
The film is in the public domain and is available for free download at the Internet Archive.

Plot

Defense lawyer Craig Carlson (Raymond Burr) buys a pistol at a pawn shop and travels to his office, where he deposits the gun in a desk drawer with a file folder, then begins to dictate into a tape recorder. Directing his message to District Attorney Ray Willis (John Dehner), he reveals that he anticipates being murdered within an hour, and begins to tell his story in extended flashbacks.
The memories begin with him explaining to his war buddy and best friend Joe Leeds (Dick Foran) that he is having an affair with Leeds's wife Myra (Angela Lansbury), who wants a divorce. His reaction concerned rather than angry, Joe asks Craig to give him a little time to think the matter over. Days later at his own office, Joe finishes writing a letter and gives it to his business partner Lou Kazarian to mail. Joe phones Myra telling her he will be home soon to discuss something. There, he confronts Myra in their bedroom, where a door is closed and a gunshot is heard.
Police investigate Joe's death. Myra explains that Joe became irate and threatened her physically, forcing her to shoot him in self-defense. Craig is also on the scene, having arrived before the police and acting as Myra's lawyer.
In the ensuing trial, DA Willis allows the police to present their evidence that a physical struggle did not occur as she'd said. Willis notes that Myra was not employed when she first met Joe, a successful businessman with a good amount of life insurance. In her defense, Craig attributes Myra's inconsistencies regarding the night in question as post-traumatic hysteria. In his closing argument, Craig claims the money motive in Willis' case is not valid because Myra was in love with another man—a revelation that could inspire Joe to cause Myra pre-meditated harm. Craig then reveals that he himself is Myra's lover.
Image:Angela Lansbury and Raymond Burr in Please Murder Me.jpg
The jury finds Myra not guilty. She and Craig throw a party to celebrate with friends. When Lou arrives, he reveals privately to Craig that he had forgotten to mail Joe's letter, which was addressed to Craig. Joe discloses in the letter that Myra did indeed marry him for his money, but that she was actually in love with an artist, not with Craig. Joe had decided to ask her to stay married, in part to save Craig from her. Craig then remembers Myra mentioning that an "old friend", an artist named Carl Holt, had visited her in jail during the trial.
Craig goes to see Holt, who explains his long relationship with Myra, interrupted by her marriage to Joe, and states his gratitude and admiration for Craig in his defense work in Myra's trial, especially his posing as Myra's lover as a tactic. Craig later confronts Myra with Joe's letter and his talk with Holt. She admits that she does intend to go on with Holt now she is free.
Accusing her of costing him his best friend, the love of his life and his profession all at once, Craig tells Myra she will pay for her crime regardless, because he will force her to murder him. Myra is incredulous, but Craig soon puts a plan in motion, developing a friendship with Holt, even employing him to paint a portrait to delay Myra and Holt's departure to Europe to marry. All the while, Craig taunts Myra that he will reveal all the evidence to Holt and let him decide if he wants to marry a murderess. As well, Craig meets socially with DA Willis, discussing Myra's case, and lets Myra see them together.
Craig concludes his story being dictated into the tape recorder by saying he has arranged to meet Myra at the office at 12:30am, which soon arrives. Hearing a knock at the office door, Craig leaves the recorder running and hides the microphone behind a desk photo of himself and Joe, then lets in Myra. He shows her the file he says is full of evidence he's compiled against her, and then sets down the pistol on the desk.
As he starts to make a phone call to Holt, Myra, successfully driven to desperation, takes the gun and shoots Craig, who falls to the floor. Using a handkerchief, she hangs up the phone and wipes her fingerprints from the gun, which she puts in Craig's hand. She finds the file is full of nothing but blank sheets of paper. When DA Willis arrives, she explains that Craig has shot himself. After checking that Craig is in fact dead, Willis learns that Myra had an appointment with Craig for 12:30, then tells her Craig had invited him to come at 12:40. He finds the microphone and recorder, then stops and rewinds the tape. As he begins to play Craig's recording, Myra starts crying, defeated.

Cast

  • Angela Lansbury as Myra Leeds
  • Raymond Burr as Attorney Craig Carlson
  • Dick Foran as Joe Leeds
  • John Dehner as Dist. Atty. Ray Willis
  • Lamont Johnson as Carl Holt
  • Robert Griffin as Lou Kazarian
  • Denver Pyle as Det. Lt. Bradley
  • Alex Sharp as Sgt. Hill
  • Lee Miller as Policeman on witness stand
  • Russell Thorson as Trial judge

See also

  • List of films in the public domain

  • Category:1956 films
    Category:1950s crime films
    Category:1950s thriller films
    Category:American films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:English-language films
    Category:Film noir
    Category:Public domain
    4.43

    More Public Domain Movies