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>
Fritz Lang wanted Spencer Tracy's character to be a lawyer, but the producers thought he should be more of a working man, so he became an auto mechanic. See more »
When the newsreel of the attempted lynching is run during the trial scene, the frame of the newsreel is frozen several times, in order to show the defendants as having taken part in the crime. But while the newsreel projector is supposed to have stopped, the ticking of the projector continues in the background, as if the film were still running. See more »
I'll give them a chance that they didn't give me. They will get a legal trial in a legal courtroom. They will have a legal judge and a legal defense. They will get a legal sentence and a legal death.
See more »
Horribly melodramatic, but psychologically complex, well-directed and excellently edited. Spencer Tracy is an innocent man assumed guilty by a mob and "lynched." Making this 1936 film still-timely are the growth of the mob and its trial, conviction and execution of Tracy based only on speculation and emotion instead of on evidence and reason. Also, the line, "I will remind the jury of the easy habit of putting on foreigners events that disturb our conscience" comments on a tendency that still exists today (just listen to talk radio here in Massachusetts!). The story touches on many issues - morality, humanity, patriotism, law, politics, media, etc - and, as such, raises many issues for discussion. Teachers might consider showing this film in class as a start-point into exploration of today's issues. Spencer Tracy gives an appropriately melodramatic performance, but Edward Ellis as the town sheriff gives the best (albeit small) performance. For entertainment value, I'd give this film 6/10; but for fans of any of the stars, the director, or for advocates of civil rights and justice, this film is worth about 8/10; finally, as a tool for teachers, 10/10.
24 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?