Accomplice (film)

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Accomplice FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Walter Colmes
Produced by John K. Teaford
Written by Irving Elman
Screenplay by Frank Gruber
Based on Simon Lash, Private Detective
by Frank Gruber
Starring Richard Arlen
Veda Ann Borg
Tom Dugan
Archie Twitchell
Music by Alexander Laszlo
Cinematography Jockey Arthur Feindel
Edited by Robert Jahns
Release date
  • September 29, 1946 (1946-09-29)
Running time
68 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Accomplice is a 1946 black-and-white film. The film, from Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC), was shot in four days.

Plot summary[edit]

The blonde bombshell Joyce Bonniwell is in need of a private investigator. She hires Simon Lash, a Los Angeles lawyer with a great interest for books, who has become a private investigator by interest. He was also left by the altar by Joyce some years ago. Joyce needs to find her husband, Sam Bonniwell, who has gone missing. Sam has a history of amnesia attacks, and sometimes has a hard time taking care of himself. He is a very wealthy man, which is one of the reason why Joyce married him. Sam is the vice president of the Sheridan National Bank in Los Angeles.

Simon first suspects that Sam might have embezzled money from the bank he works at, and left the country. Simon starts his investigation by questioning the bank’s president, Vincent Springer, and asks about the bank’s financial status. Simon’s legal assistant, Eddie Slocum, is ordered to investigate Sam’s gentlemen’s club, and see if there is anything to learn about him there.

Bank president Springer claims that the bank is prospering and that there are no problems whatsoever. He also tells Simon that as far as he knows, Sam is on vacation at the moment, and not missing at all.

During his investigation, Eddie finds a letter to Sam from a Mrs. James Baker, and Simon goes to the address to investigate further. Arriving to the apartment, Simon finds a beautiful redhead named Evelyn Price living there. Evelyn admits on having an affair with Sam. She also tells Simon that Sam has been missing for several days, and that she believes that Sam might have taken refuge at the Castleman’s Mink Ranch, a place he owns near Palmdale.

After his talk with Evelyn, Simon starts suspecting that Joyce might just be after some hard evidence of Sam’s infidelity, to gather ammunition for a divorce. Simon decides to go to Joyce’s house to resign from his assignment, since he doesn’t work with divorce cases.

Simon arrives at the house, but as soon as he is inside, a phone call from the local sheriff Rucker informs Joyce that her husband’s body has been found at Castleman’s Mink Ranch. Sam is killed by a gunshot to the head. Simon accompanies Joyce to the ranch to identify the body. When they arrive together to the crime scene, the sheriff starts to suspect that Simon and Joyce have murdered Sam to get his money from the inheritance.

Castleman, however, believes that Bonniwell committed suicide. Simon determines that there is clear evidence of two shots, and understands that Bonniwell could not have killed himself. Joyce tells the sheriff that Sam had lost all his money. She denies any knowledge of the ranch and of Sam’s relationship with the mistress Evelyn.

Simon contacts Eddie by phone, and receives information that both Evelyn and bank president Springer have disappeared without a trace. Simon looks into a hotel that Sam frequented during his visits, and finds out that he used to come visit town in the company of a pretty brunette, whom he claimed to be his wife. Rucker later reports that a brunette that fits the description has been seen driving Sam’s car into the desert. Simon learns from Joyce that the bank president’s fiancé is a brunette, and decides to find the woman.

Before Simon has time to leave, he gets information that both Evelyn and Castleman have been murdered. Simon tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together, and decides to travel to Mesa in New Mexico. When he arrives there he talks to the town marshal, Jeff Bailey, who tells him that a man named Stringer drove through town some time ago, in the direction of Pete Connors’ large estate, known as the Castle.

When Simon comes to the Castle, the owner Pete Connors reveals that Bailey is his nephew. Simon is taken by surprise. He is locked into an old harness room. He sees how Joyce arrives to the house by car and manages to break out of the room. Joyce explains that she headed for the Castle after she found out Springer had telephoned Connors' number.

Joyce then tries to kill Simon, and he understands that she is the one who murdered all three victims. He tells her that he knows what she has done, and that he guessed she wore a brunette wig to masquerade herself as Springer's fiancée, and murdered Springer at the mink ranch because he discovered that Sam was embezzling from the bank.

Simon then continues to explain that Evelyn, who was really Springer's mistress, not Sam’s, and Castleman both were murdered to prevent them from revealing the truth. Sam, who is alive and hiding at the Castle, then appears. There is a gunfight, where Sam accidentally kills both Connors and Joyce, and then is himself killed by Simon.[1]



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