Fred Zinnemann’s directorial debut produced an excellent little crime-thriller for MGM based on the book “The Odor of Violets” by Baynard H. Kendrick.
Edward Arnold made the first of his two appearances as Kendrick’s blind detective Captain Duncan McLain. Detective McLain sets out to investigate the murder of the boyfriend of pretty Miss Barbara Lawry (Donna Reed), aided by his faithful seeing-eye-dog companion Friday (played by himself). When he arrives on the scene of the crime, the body is gone, and the only detectable clue is the “odor of violets” in the room. With this one tiny clue, Detective McLain builds his case against a gang of Nazi spies, headed by none other than the Lawry’s butler. In true cliffhanger fashion, it’s Friday, the faithful dog companion that saves the day while almost stealing the show!