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Fall Guy(1947)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Soon after a man stumbles out of a New York telephone booth and falls unconscious on the street, he is found by a passing policeman. Because the man is clutching a bloody knife, he is taken to a police hospital, where, upon awakening, he is questioned by detectives. Still under the influence of cocaine, the man, Tom Cochrane, is unable to respond, but manages to slip out of the hospital undetected. Later, Tom's estranged fiancée, Lois Walters, receives a telephone call from Tom's brother-in-law, Mac McClane, with whom Tom lives, apprising her of Tom's disoriented state. Although her guardian, Jim Grossett, disapproves of Tom, a drifting ex-serviceman, Lois insists on going to Mac's to see him. When she arrives at Mac's, she overhears Tom confessing to Mac, a police detective, his fears that, while under the influence of cocaine, he killed a woman. After Lois pledges her love, Tom struggles to recall his recent activities: The heavy drinking Tom goes to a wild party with a man he met in a bar and drinks with an attractive singer. He soon begins to feel a "crazy glow" and falls into a daze. Sometime later, he awakens and finds himself alone in the apartment. While groping for the way out, Tom opens a closet door and discovers a woman's corpse inside. Tom then picks up a knife and a key near the closet and stumbles out to the phone booth, where he collapses. After Tom finishes his story, Mac insists that he return to the police, but Lois convinces Mac to conduct his own investigation while Tom is still free. Before Mac's superior, Inspector Shannon, shows up at the apartment, Tom and Lois sneak out the back and hide in a movie theater. Although Shannon suspects that Mac is protecting Tom, he allows him to go, hoping that he will lead him to Tom. Mac throws Shannon off his trail, however, and with Tom in tow, returns to the bar where Tom met the friendly stranger. Just as Tom remembers that the stranger's name was Joe, he sees the singer leaving the bar and runs after her. Tom loses the singer in the subway, but then recalls that Joe had identified himself as an elevator operator. After an exhaustive search, Tom and Mac locate Joe and coerce him into revealing the location of the hotel where the party took place. There Mac questions the couple who hosted the party, but gathers no useful information from them. As Mac is concluding his interrogation, he sees Joe standing across the street. Joe, who had previously eavesdropped on a phone call that Mac made to Lois, is then pushed in front of a car and killed. Noticing the neon sign for the neighboring hotel, Tom suddenly realizes that the couple's apartment was not the one in which he found the body, but was on the floor above. At that deserted apartment, Tom and Mac find the corpse in the closet and confirm that the victim was not the singer, but a similar-looking woman. Before Tom and Mac can leave, Shannon arrives, but Tom manages to escape and flees in Lois' car. After Mac is arrested, Lois, who left Tom at an all-night theater, is interrogated by the police but reveals nothing. Tom then returns to the bar to search for the singer, but leaves discouraged moments before she shows up with her boyfriend Mike. The singer, Marie, confesses to Mike that she was hired by a gentleman to ply Tom with drinks at the party and that the man had ordered her to pay off Joe and leave town. Marie also reveals that she has been unable to contact their mutual friend Patty, an addict who got her drugs from the gentleman. Feeling edgy, Marie leaves the bar with Mike just as Tom returns, having been alerted to her presence by the bartender. Tom tries to follow Marie, but is knocked unconscious by Mike. In her apartment, Marie is then strangled by Jim, the mysterious gentleman, who had questioned the unsuspecting Lois about Mac's investigation and was aware of Tom's movements. Jim flees out the window when Mike, hearing screams, breaks down the door. Tom shows up next and discovers Jim on the roof. After Jim tries to shoot Tom and the two men fight, Mike kills Jim in a rage. Later, Lois admits that she was oblivious to her guardian's jealousy of Tom, and also was unaware that he was a drug addict who was being blackmailed by Patty. With Jim implicated in Patty's murder, both Tom and Mac are cleared, and Lois happily anticipates her upcoming marriage to Tom.