The editor of a New York exploitation newspaper meets the wife he had abandoned years ago, while using another name, at a LonelyHearts ball sponsored by his newspaper. She threatens to ... See full summary »
Police surround the apartment of apparent murderer Joe Adams, who refuses to surrender although escape appears impossible. During the siege, Joe reflects on the circumstances that led him to this situation.
Barbara Bel Geddes,
Based on the story "Mob Rule" by Norman Krasna. Joe Wilson and Katherine Grant are in love, but he doesn't have enough money for them to get married. So Katherine moves across the country to make money. But things go disastrously wrong for Joe when he stops in a small town and is mistaken for a wanted murderer. Through the course of the movie, Fritz Lang shows us how a decent and once civilized man can become a ruthless and bitter man. Written by
Andre'a M. Thompson <email@example.com>
Script was based upon the 1933 kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart, the son of the owner of Hart's Department Store in San Jose, California. The two kidnapping suspects were pulled from jail by a group of vigilantes, who dragged them across the street to St. James Park and lynched both of them. See more »
When a stone is thrown through the window at the jail house the sheriff goes over to check it out. There are bars on the window when he first looks out; after they pan back from the people outside, the bars are clearly no longer on the window. See more »
In what was his fourth film on his new MGM contract Spencer Tracy finally broke through the ranks and became an A picture star. Tracy had been in Hollywood for six years five of them with Fox. Most of his work there was relegated to B picture second features. In this, the first American film by Fritz Lang, Tracy emerges with a powerhouse performance of a man who nearly destroys himself in a quest for vengeance against the mob that nearly kills him by setting a jail on fire where he's being held on a suspicion of kidnapping.
Remember that this was the 30s with news of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial fresh in the minds of the movie-going public. Probably the most hated man in America was Bruno Hauptman, the Lindbergh kidnapping suspect. That's a dimension that can hardly be appreciated by seeing the video today. But Lang's direction of the mob scenes still retains the power to frighten.
Sylvia Sydney registers well as Tracy's fiancé and Bruce Cabot stands out as the local town bully who whips up the mob in the first place against the innocent Tracy being held in the town jail.
In the first of many climactic monologues Tracy comes forward and redeems himself from the twisted personality his victimization by the town mob has left. The speech is simple, direct, profound; pure Spencer Tracy. And that's as good as it ever gets.
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