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A Blueprint for Murder / Man in the Attic (1953)

Joseph Cotten , Jean Peters , Andrew L. Stone , Hugo Fregonese  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Jack Palance, Constance Smith, Byron Palmer
  • Directors: Andrew L. Stone, Hugo Fregonese
  • Writers: Andrew L. Stone, Barré Lyndon, Marie Belloc Lowndes, Robert Presnell Jr.
  • Producers: Leonard Goldstein, Robert L. Jacks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Black & White
  • Language: English (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2007
  • Run Time: 158 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000RXVND8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,714 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Blueprint for Murder / Man in the Attic" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Disc 1:Blueprint For Murder (B&W) (1953) Disc 2:Man in the Attic (B&W) (1953)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film Noir Architecture at its Finest!! July 25, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
While I cannot speak to the Jack Palance film, I can say that I am very enthusiastic indeed that Blueprint for Murder is FINALLY coming out in public release. This one never made it to VHS, even, and could only be gotten via bootleg copies on ebay--and happily so! This is a taut little low-budget thriller, with Jean Peters as the step-mom with ice-water in her veins and dollar signs in her eyes; and Joseph Cotten is her earnest, bumbling brother-in-law whose hormones cloud his judgment as to her dark, dark intentions--at least for a little while! Peters is just sensational, embodying a fetching femme fatale who is both seeringly voluptuous and deeply dangerous. She really steals the show here. Cotten is effective in his ineffectiveness, but he proves right in the end. While not of the caliber of Double Indemnity or Out of the Past, owing to a rather flat, stodgy pictorial style and mise en scene, the film is really story/character/actor driven, and is very engrossing. There are a lot of movies coming out under the rubric of Film Noir that are not even close to Film Noir (e.g., Daisy Kenyon) but when you call something FN it sells, I guess. Blueprint for Murder is the real deal, though. It is great to see some truly obscure ones making it to DVD. Now, how about the original version of Caught with Robert Ryan? Well, until then, enjoy Blueprint for Muder and look closely at what's inscribed on your vitamins!
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A Blueprint for Murder:
"Lynne's warmth and affection for Doug helped so much to soften the blow of his sister's death. Never did Maggie's absurd suspicions seem more fantastic than now." That's Cam Cameron speaking to us. Doug is his nephew, a little boy whose sister, Polly, has just died in hospital of what turns out to have been strychnine poisoning. Their step-mother, the cool, beautiful Lynne Cameron (Jean Peters), is, of course, distressed, just as she was when her husband, the children's father, died mysteriously with the same symptoms. Lynne's brother-in-law, Whitney Cameron (Joseph Cotton), Cam for short, who flew into town when Polly became ill, can see for himself how solicitous Lynne is toward young Doug. He's not about to listen to the suspicions raised by his good friends, Maggie and Fred Sergeant (Catherine McLeod and Gary Merrill).

But wait a minute. Fred, a lawyer, now remembers the terms of the will he drew up for Polly's and Doug's father. A great deal of money was placed into a trust, the interest of which is going to Lynne. Ah, but if the children die, Lynne will get the principal as well as the interest. A little worm of doubt now starts to nibble away in Cam's brain, which is particularly unsettling because Cam is beginning to have certain feelings for Lynne. All we know for sure is that Lynne is the kind of cool. competent woman who would most likely warm up only if she had a whip in her hand and you at her feet. It all comes together on board a transatlantic liner taking Lynne, Doug and Cam to Europe. It involves a clever ruse that calls for a pill that might or might not be aspirin, a cocktail that tastes a little bitter and a whole lot of scenery chewing.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars two rare Fox thrillers for a bargain price February 9, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Two obscure films from the Twentieth Century-Fox vaults make up the double feature on this outstanding Midnite Movies release. Apart from the fact that both movies were produced in 1953, they aren't linked by a common theme or star, nevertheless these two movies are definitely worth the time for classic film buffs.

First on the bill is A BLUEPRINT FOR MURDER (written and directed by Andrew L. Stone). When his little niece dies following an unexplained illness, Whitney Cameron (Joseph Cotten) begins to suspect the child's stepmother Lynne (Jean Peters). The ice-cool society type, Lynne hardly seems a candidate for murder, but when it's revealed she'll inherit the entire family fortune should she outlive her stepchildren, Cam starts to fear for the safety of nephew Doug (Freddy Ridgeway). With the help of his sleuthing friends (Gary Merrill and Catherine McLeod), Cam sets out to trap Lynne using her very own "blueprint" for murder...

This stylish murder noir is a perfect showcase for Fox contract player Jean Peters ("Niagara", "Three Coins in the Fountain"). She brings a sense of ambiguous danger to the role of Lynne. Joseph Cotten is very strong too. Normally the villain in these types of movies, it's a rare change seeing him as the hero. Catherine McLeod and Gary Merrill ("All About Eve") have fun roles as the amateur sleuths.

Next up is MAN IN THE ATTIC (directed by Hugo Fregonese, based on a novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes). In gas-lit London at the turn of the century, the district of Whitechapel is being terrorised by a series of grisly murders involving prostitutes and actresses.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good blue print November 16, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
While I have not watched the companion movie, I highly recommend the blue print. This is an old style, very intelligently scripted, mystery and murder movie. Without any special effects or other superficial goodies the movie keeps you busy and anger to figure out the case. Acting by Joseph Cotten and Jean Peters are enjoyable. A nice, standard DVD transfer. Subtitled in Spanish, French and English.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Abraham L. Kreloff
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
needed a new copy
Published 1 month ago by Bostock05 B.
3.0 out of 5 stars The Quality Of The Film/Picture and Sound Was Perfect (crystal clear...
These are both B movies and anti-climatic. The charm is the historical significance (both movies done in 1953). Jack Palance does some major emoting in Man in the Attic. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Holly
5.0 out of 5 stars Film Noir
A little dated, but a must for any Film noir buff. Moves quickly, the B&W shadows are pure Film noir.
Published 4 months ago by Mike
3.0 out of 5 stars 1950's realism
A "thriller" done in the 1950s style of "realistic" law-enforcement depiction. After a young girl dies suddenly from a mystery illness, the attractive step-mother ( Jean Peters)... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. J. Sneed
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable
I had began to watch this movie on tv and was unable to see the end. When I discover amazon had it for sale at a reasonable price I purchased. I really enjoyed the complete movie. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Deborah J. Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Two Entertaining Noirish Thrillers at One Low Price
Two relatively obscure but generally entertaining nourish suspense films are available in one package in another Midnite Movies double feature. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Silver Screen Videos
5.0 out of 5 stars Black and white with colorful intensity--YES
Blueprint is in black and white. High quality acting, superb film quality, and a story line that brings a colorful intensity. Exciting and provocative. Read more
Published 8 months ago by BrendaMarie
3.0 out of 5 stars Murder by Poison
A Blueprint for Murder, 1953 film

This is an interesting drama about family relations and inheritance as a motive for murder. Who poisoned a patient in a hospital? Read more
Published 9 months ago by Acute Observer
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice thriller
A true psychological thriller, complete with angst by the main character who remains hopeful until the end, but is driven to know the truth, no matter how painful. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
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