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The Truth About Murder

The Truth About Murder(1946)

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Frustrated that her boss, District Attorney Lester Ashton, refuses to promote her to prosecutor, Christine Allen announces that she is quitting her job as the city's lie detector administrator to take a position with her longtime friend, lawyer William Ames Crane. When Chris arrives at Bill's office, however, she learns that the attorney has been drinking heavily and neglecting his work. Chris discusses the situation with Bill's wife Marsha, who runs a photographic studio out of her and Bill's apartment. While she is there, Chris observes the sophisticated Marsha place a bet with bookmaker Johnny Lacka and taunt Peggy, a jealous model, by openly kissing Peggy's husband Hank in front of her. After a drunken Bill then staggers in and is scorned by Marsha, Chris sobers Bill up and calls Les to tell him she has become Bill's law partner. Les, who is in love with Chris and wants her to give up her job to marry him, asks Marsha to help him change Chris's mind about her career. To that end, Les arranges for Marsha and Bill to join Chris and him for dinner and intimates to Bill that Marsha wants to reconcile with him. When an eager, sober Bill arrives to pick up Marsha, however, he finds only Paul Marvin, one of Marsha's clients, there. After Paul reveals that he and Marsha are lovers and that Marsha wants a divorce, Bill immediately resumes his drinking. Later that evening, Les and Chris discover Marsha shot dead in her studio. Bill is arrested for the crime, but Chris is convinced of his innocence and undertakes to clear him. Using a key borrowed from Paul, she sneaks into Bill's apartment to search for evidence and finds a gun submerged in a photographic tank. At that moment, Jonesy, Marsha's photographer, slips in and is confronted at gunpoint by Chris. Jonesy and Chris struggle over the gun, and just as Jonesy takes possession of it, the police burst in and rescue her. Although Chris is sure that Jonesy is the killer, Les, who has learned that the gun belongs to Bill, releases him and over dinner questions Peggy about the crime. As a nervous Peggy is about to reveal what she knows, Chris and Paul arrive at the restaurant and cause her to bolt. Later, Les is followed by Chris to Peggy and Hank's house, and while he is questioning Peggy, Chris tails Hank to the Crane apartment. There Hank steals a piece of paper and drives to a warehouse, where he meets with Lacka and his gang. As Chris eavesdrops in the next room, Hank hands Lacka the paper and tries to collect the $22,000 Marsha would have won on her bet. When Lacka refuses to pay, Hank accuses him of killing Marsha to avoid honoring his debt. Hank also declares that Peggy saw the murderer in the Crane apartment and can identify him. At that moment, Chris accidentally reveals her whereabouts and is captured by Lacka, but soon escapes and tells Les and Paul what she has discovered. After Peggy is killed by an unseen gunman, Chris decides to hold a party at the Crane apartment and use her lie detector to question the guests, all of whom have some connection to Marsha. Just before the guests are to arrive, Paul shows up and agrees to test the lie detector for Chris. Aided by the machine, Chris deduces that Paul murdered Marsha after she told him she was going back to Bill, and then was forced to kill Peggy. Paul tries to shoot Chris, but is stopped in the nick of time by Les and the police. A grateful Chris then announces that she is giving up law to become Les's devoted wife.