8.2/10
8
3 user 2 critic

The Accusing Finger (1936)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 17 November 1936 (USA)
An attorney is responsible for sending an innocent man to jail for a murder he did not commit. He soon gets a taste of his own medicine when his wife is murdered and no one will believe him... See full summary »

Director:

(as James Hogan)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat

 | 

July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith, including Saturday's live event.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: David Kirkland
Stars: Constance Talmadge, Charles Meredith, Elizabeth Garrison
No More Women (1934)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Two deep-sea divers, known only by their nicknames of "Three-Time" and "Forty-Fathoms," find that no place on earth is big enough for both of them at the same time, even the bottom of the ... See full summary »

Director: Albert S. Rogell
Stars: Edmund Lowe, Victor McLaglen, Sally Blane
Woman-Wise (1937)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Crooks use prizefights as setups and local sports editor (Whalen) is out to stop them.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Rochelle Hudson, Michael Whalen, Thomas Beck
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Former millionaire B.J. Nolan is useless with money, having lost most of his fortune on crazy schemes. His son, Kenneth, has the opposite problem thanks to good sense and a large ... See full summary »

Director: John G. Blystone
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Joel McCrea, Charles Winninger
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A cowardly young man, a bitter young woman and a helpless child live on the docks, spend their days full of ennui watching a dredge dig the same hole day in and day out, chased around by ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George K. Arthur, Georgia Hale, Bruce Guerin
Polly Redhead (1917)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Aside from the fact that Polly had red hair in abundance, she was not otherwise an exceptional child, save for one thing. She was willing to work and slave, if need be, to keep her baby ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Ella Hall, Gertrude Astor, Charles Hill Mailes
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Joseph De Grasse
Stars: Pauline Bush, Lon Chaney, Millard K. Wilson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Claire Patterson
...
Jerry Welch
...
Jimmy Ellis
...
Sen. Nash
...
Muriel Goodwin
...
Father Reed - the priest (as Joseph Sawyer)
...
Prison Warden
...
Sen. Forrest
...
Special Prosecutor
Rollo Lloyd ...
Dr. Simms
...
John 'Twitchy' Burke
...
Dist. Atty. Benton
...
'Spud'
...
Johnson
Edit

Storyline

An attorney is responsible for sending an innocent man to jail for a murder he did not commit. He soon gets a taste of his own medicine when his wife is murdered and no one will believe him when he claims he didn't do it. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Turning Point  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its initial television presentation took place in Chicago Thursday 15 January 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2). In Minneapolis it first aired 13 June 1959 on WTCN (Channel 110, in Omaha 1 August 1959 on KETV (Channel 7), in Grand Rapids 5 November 1959 on WOOD (Channel 8), in Detroit 21 January 1960 on WJBK (Channel 2), in Pittsburgh 16 September 1960 on KDKA (Channel 2), in Los Angeles 3 October 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2), and in Johnstown 30 November 1960 on WJAC (Channel 6). See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
This little programmer crams a little bit of everything into just an hour
9 December 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First off, the synopsis is wrong. Paul Kelly plays prosecutor Douglas Goodwin who, in the first minutes of the film, sends a very guilty guy (Robert Cummings as Jimmy Ellis) to the chair. Actually, only the judge can do that, but Goodwin did ask for the death sentence and got it. As they lead Jimmy off he even admits guilt, saying he would not have killed the guy had he been sober. Goodwin does not think he is sending innocent people to the gallows. He's in love with his secretary (Marsha Hunt as Claire Patterson), but he's been separated for a long time from a woman who will not give him a divorce.

Next, the estranged wife shows up where Doug and Claire are eating out, calls Claire a home wrecker, makes a scene, and then runs out. Doug makes all kinds of vague threatening statements in front of strangers like "She'll pay for this!" or "I'll get her!". Goodwin goes to his wife's penthouse and asks her for a divorce, even offering to give her all of his assets. She refuses because she never wants him to remarry and be happy. Bernadene Hayes plays the wife, and she is just an awful harpy during her entire performance, badgering her poor maid when nobody else is available. This is one thing I didn't get. She has a maid, furs, and lots of jewelry - yet she is married to a civil servant? Something does not add up. Then, right after Goodwin leaves, his estranged wife walks into her darkened bedroom and catches a burglar stealing her jewelry. She screams out, Goodwin hears the struggle and reenters the bedroom. As he enters, the burglar shoots the wife dead and jumps out the window. Goodwin picks up the burglar's gun and shoots at the burglar, believing he has wounded him in the shoulder.

Now Goodwin looks bad circumstantially speaking. There were all of the threats he made in front of people, plus the fact that his fingerprints are all over the murder weapon and the only person who could vouch for him is dead - his late wife a victim of having a poorer understanding of "your money or your life" than Jack Benny has.

There is no time for courtroom theatrics in this fast paced B, so Goodwin is tried, convicted, and sentenced to death, and is now a resident of death row along with Jimmy Ellis, the guy he just sent to the chair in his last case as prosecutor. Funny thing about this film. People under sentence of death are on a separate "death row" for a reason - they have nothing to lose by trying to escape. Yet here they are allowed to mingle with each other in one big cell part of the day! Basically you have three story lines here in this 60 minute film. You have Harry Carey as a state senator trying to repeal the death penalty in the state, with Goodwin initially opposing him. Then you have Goodwin sweating it out on death row. Finally, you also have the investigation into finding that burglar, the existence of which could clear Goodwin. Specifically Jerry Welch is trying to find that burglar or his doctor. The complicating factor - he is in love with Goodwin's girlfriend, Claire. Is Jerry on the up and up, or is he stalling for time so he can have Claire by fair means or foul? Watch and find out.

There are a couple of things that are over the top and s bit preposterous. For one thing, we are to believe that Goodwin has a change of heart by being on death row himself. The big difference here is that everybody else killed somebody, and Goodwin is innocent. That is never mentioned. These guys did not get here by dropping out of Sunday school. There are a couple of eye rolling moments such as having Goodwin appear before the senate to plead for the repeal of the death penalty the day before his execution, and then there is a jungle gym like device on the way from death row to the electric chair that one of the men doing his last walk decides to scale, refusing to come down. Art designers, there is a reason that last mile is nothing but bare hallway and THIS is one of them.

Will Senator Nash get his death sentence repeal bill passed? Will the burglar be found? Does the investigator even want to find him? Watch and find out. It truly keeps your interest regardless of what side of the death penalty argument you are on.

And now a word about Paul Kelly, who plays the starring role. He actually has a little bit of experience in this type of situation. He spent three years in prison for manslaughter for duking it out and accidentally killing the husband of the woman he was in love with. She did time for obstruction. Yet when they both got out they got married, the incident did not hurt Kelly's career at all, and he worked steadily in films his whole life and stayed married to the woman "he killed for" until her death. Kelly was the kind of tough guy with charm that B action filmmakers were looking for in the 30's, this is one of those films, and it is an essential in my opinion if you are a fan of his acting style. Highly recommended.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?