The Girl in Black Stockings

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The Girl in Black Stockings
Directed byHoward W. Koch
Produced byAubrey Schenck
(executive producer)
Written byRichard Landau
Based onthe story "Wanton Murder"
by Peter Godfrey
Music byLes Baxter
CinematographyWilliam Margulies
Edited byJohn F. Schreyer
A Bel-Air Production
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • September 24, 1957 (1957-09-24) (U.S.)
copyright 1956
Running time
73 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Girl in Black Stockings is an American B-movie mystery film released by United Artists in 1957. Directed by Howard W. Koch, it stars Lex Barker, Anne Bancroft, and Mamie Van Doren.


A lodge in Kanab, Utah, is where Los Angeles lawyer David Hewson goes for a peaceful vacation. He quickly is attracted to Beth Dixon, a switchboard operator and a former personal assistant to lodge owner Edmund Parry.

The murder of playgirl Marsha Morgan, her throat cut, disrupts the peace and quiet. Sheriff Holmes begins the investigation, starting with the wheelchair-bound Parry, who admits to hating the dead woman, and Parry's possessive sister Julia, who helps him run the lodge. It turns out David once dated Morgan as well.

A new guest, Joseph Felton, checks in. The sheriff's suspects also include guests Norman Grant, a drunken actor, and his ambitious girlfriend, Harriet Ames. A missing kitchen knife believed to be the murder weapon is found by Indian Joe, who works at the lodge.

Beth eavesdrops on a phone call Felton makes from his room. Felton is later found killed by a gunshot, and it turns out he was a private detective. David becomes more and more convinced that the Parrys are behind all this. Ames is seen kissing Edmund Parry, which does not please Edmund's sister or Grant.

To his shock, David arrives as Beth holds a knife to Julia Parry's bloody throat, claiming to have stabbed her in self-defense. It turns out, however, that Edmund had hired the investigator Felton to follow the psychologically disturbed Beth, who is responsible for all the murders.

Cast of characters[edit]


The movie's working title was Black Stockings.[1] It was filmed on location in the small Utah city of Kanab;[2] the lodge in the film is the real-life Parry Lodge in Kanab, which had often served to house movie crews filming in the area.[3] Filming also took place at Three Lakes and the Moqui Cave in Utah as well as Fredonia, Arizona.[3]

The Girl in Black Stockings was Van Doren's first film after the birth of her son and her consequent release from Universal.[4]

Production began in July 1956.[1]

Like much of Bel-Air's output,[5] The Girl in Black Stockings was a low-budget exploitation film released as a second feature.[6]

Turner Classic Movies showing[edit]

Turner Classic Movies presented The Girl in Black Stockings on September 17, 2015, in commemoration of what would have been Anne Bancroft's 84th birthday. Shown after The Girl in Black Stockings was 1957's Nightfall, 1964's The Pumpkin Eater, 1966's 7 Women, 1975's The Prisoner of Second Avenue, and 1984's Garbo Talks.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Girl in Black Stockings". Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  2. ^ "Mystery Made in South Utah Slated for Gem" (Deseret News and Telegram, November 28, 1957, page c11 (includes photograph of John Dehner and Lex Barker in a scene from the film)
  3. ^ a b D'Arc, James (2010). When Hollywood Came to Town: A History of Movie Making in Utah. Gibbs Smith. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-4236-1984-0.
  4. ^ Lowe, Barry (2008). Atomic Blonde: The Films of Mamie Van Doren. McFarland. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-0-7864-8273-3.
  5. ^ Weaver, Tom (2006). Interviews with B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers: Writers, Producers, Directors, Actors, Moguls and Makeup. McFarland. pp. 210–11. ISBN 978-0-7864-2858-8.
  6. ^ Stafford, Jeff. "Article: The Girl in Black Stockings". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2015-09-19.

External links[edit]