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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Nice fragments made me want to see the rest.

Author: F Gwynplaine MacIntyre from Minffordd, North Wales
29 December 2004

I viewed a nitrate print of 'The Acquittal' that had a couple of reels missing, including the final reel. This story is a whodunnit, and it seems to be a pretty good one. Unfortunately, I don't know how it ends, nor do I know the identity of the culprit.

Wealthy Andrew Prentice has two adopted sons, who are not related to each other: Kenneth Winthrop and Robert Armstrong. (Shouldn't he be chasing King Kong?) The foster sons have grown to adulthood, and Kenneth is married to Madeline Ames. I think that's correct, although I don't know why the wife and husband have different surnames. Some of the intertitles in this print were very difficult to read, due to the deterioration of the nitrate film stock.

One day the butler and maid discover Prentice murdered in his bedroom. Winthrop is charged with the crime, brought to trial and acquitted. But then who did it? For some reason, it falls to Madeline (rather than the police) to find the killer.

There's some interesting camera work here. In several shots, a fairly ordinary object -- a butcher's scale, an open window -- is given just a bit too much emphasis, in a manner which makes it clear that these are visual clues to the solution of the murder. Due to portions of this movie being missing or too far deteriorated to view, I couldn't follow the story ... but what I did see was gripping enough to make me feel that this *was* a very well-told and interesting story in the film's original state. Barbara Bedford is attractive in a supporting role. I shan't rate this film, as I've only seen pieces of it.

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