John Sturges diected this stylish B movie that showcased Ricardo Montalban, intent on blunting his Latin lover/musical image to more serious acting, as cop Peter Moralas investigating the murder of a young waitress/prostitute found washed up ashore off Boston. Missing several months, she’s but a skeleton by now.
With CSI precision, aided by Harvard medical Dr. Mcadoo(Bruce Bennett), they piece things together. Marshal Thomson is Henry Shanway, the innocent man dragged into the murder. Stopping off for a drink, and already drunk, he gets scooped up by the pregnant murder victim, Vivian Heldon(Jan Sterling), pissed that her married boy friend refuses to leave his wife, getting Shanway to let her drive them up to a meeting with boy friend. When he balks, she gets him out of his car, steals it, leaving him stranded. The murderer shoots her, strips the body and leaves her clothes in Shanway’s car, driving it into a lake.
Mrs. Smerrling(Elsa Lancaster) owns a rooming house for women. She’s a scheming, money hungry blackmailer who knows the killer and has the murder weapon hidden.
And the murderer is James Joshua Harkley(Edmon Ryan).
The story of how they piece things all together is nicely done.