Johnny Stool Pigeon

Johnny Stool Pigeon is a 1949 American film noir crime film directed by William Castle and starring Howard Duff, Shelley Winters and Dan Duryea.[1]

Johnny Stool Pigeon
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam Castle
Produced byAaron Rosenberg
Screenplay byRobert L. Richards
Story byHenry Jordan
StarringHoward Duff
Shelley Winters
Dan Duryea
Music byMilton Schwartzwald
CinematographyMaury Gertsman
Edited byTed J. Kent
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • April 20, 1949 (1949-04-20) (United States)
  • September 2, 1949 (1949-09-02) (San Francisco)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States


A narcotics agent convinces a convict he helped send to Alcatraz go undercover with him to help expose a heroin drug smuggling ring. The unlikely pair travels from San Francisco to Vancouver and finally to a dude ranch in Tucson which is run by mob bosses. They end up getting help breaking the case from the gang leader's dingy blonde girlfriend (Winters), who falls for the narcotics agent during the sting.



The film was known as Contraband and Partners in Crime.[2]


Critical response

When the film was released, the film critic for The New York Times, gave the film a tepid review, writing, "Despite a serious attempt at authenticity it is merely a brisk cops-and-smugglers melodrama, which follows an obvious pattern and is fairly strong on suspense and short on originality and impressive histrionics ... Howard Duff, who has had plenty of experience as a gumshoe both on the radio and in films, is appropriately self-effacing, hard and handsome as the intrepid agent. Dan Duryea adds a surprising twist to his usual characterizations of tough hombres as the convict who turns on his own kind, and Shelley Winters gives a credible performance as the blonde moll who also gives the law a much-needed assist. But aside from a few variations their crime and punishment adventures are cast in a familiar mold."[3]

See also


  1. Johnny Stool Pigeon on IMDb.
  2. Saga of War Deserters Due for Screen Telling; Bedoya Joins 'Black Rose' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 22 Mar 1949: 13.
  3. The New York Times, film review, September 23, 1949. Accessed: July 12, 2013.
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