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Film / Please Murder Me!

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Please Murder Me! is a 1956 American Film Noir directed by Peter Godfrey and starring Angela Lansbury, Raymond Burr and Dick Foran.

A lawyer wins an acquittal for his client, a woman accused of murder. After the verdict, he finds out that she indeed did commit the murder and manipulated him to win her acquittal. Guilt-ridden, and knowing that she can't be tried again for the murder, he devises a plan to bring her to justice.


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  • Alliterative Name: Protagonist Craig Carlson.
  • Caught on Tape: After dictating his message to district attorney Ray Willis, he leaves the tape recorder running in his desk drawer. Myra's Engineered Public Confession and subsequent murder of him is recorded on it. Although Myra tries to pass of his death as suicide, Willis winds the tape recorder and—thinking it might contain Craig's suicide note—rewinds it and plays it; ensuring Myra's capture.
  • Dead Man Writing: Opens with defense lawyer Craig Carlson buying a pistol at a pawn shop and depositing it in his office desk drawer with a file folder. He dictates a message into a tape recorder for district attorney Ray Willis, revealing that he expects to be murdered within an hour, and he begins to tell his story in extended flashbacks.
  • Disconnected by Death: Craig has just telephoned Carl when Myra shoots him dead. Carl does not realise what has happened and is still saying "Hello? Hello?" when Myra replaces the receiver in the cradle.
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  • Engineered Public Confession: Craig lures Myra to his office and gets her to admit her entire scheme by threatening to tell Carl about it. When he picks up the phone to call Carl, she shoots him dead. she stages the scene to look like a suicide as is about to leave when district attorney Ray Willis walks in. while examining the scene, Willis discovers a running tape recorder in Craig's desk drawer, and Myra realises her confession and Craig's murder have been Caught on Tape.
  • Exact Time to Failure: Opens with defense lawyer Craig Carlson buying a pistol at a pawn shop and depositing it in his office desk drawer with a file folder. He dictates a message into a tape recorder for district attorney Ray Willis, revealing that he expects to be murdered in 55 minutes.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Femme Fatale: Myra. She married Joe for his money, then manipulates Joe's best friend Craig into falling in love with her, before murdering Joe and claiming it was self-defence, and relying on Craig's legal expertise to get her off the murder charge.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Craig paints Joe Leeds as having one, as a justification for Myra shooting him in self-defense.
  • How We Got Here: Opens with defense lawyer Craig Carlson buying a pistol at a pawn shop and depositing it in his office desk drawer with a file folder. He dictates a message into a tape recorder for district attorney Ray Willis, revealing that he expects to be murdered within an hour, and he begins to tell his story in extended flashbacks.
  • Never Suicide: After shooting Craig Carlson, Myra attempts to make it look like a suicide. what she didn't know was that Engineered Publicconfession had been Caught on Tape.
  • Pretty in Mink: Femme Fatale Myra Leeds wears a black fur coat in several scenes, including to her final, fatal appointment in Craig's office.
  • Silence Is Golden: The opening sequence of Craig Carlson walking along the street, buying the gun, catching a cab, loading the gun, entering his office, and putting the file and the gun in his office desk drawer is done with dialogue. It ends with Craig picking up the microphone and starting to dictate his recording to the district attorney.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Myra Leeds shoots her husband to death during an argument. Lawyer Craig Carlson, who's in love with her, gets her acquitted on a self-defense justification. He later learns that she's in love with yet another man and that the killing was premeditated. Carlson forces her hand into killing him as well so that she won't get off scot free.


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