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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Edward G. Robinson,
This dramatization of a factual incident opens in a quiet Connecticut town where a kindly priest is murdered while waiting at a street corner. The citizens are horrified and demand action from the police. All of the witnesses identify John Waldron, a nervous out-of-towner, as the killer. Although Waldron vehemently denies the crime, no one will believe him. District Attorney Henry Harvey is then put on the case and faces political opposition in his attempt to prove Waldron's innocence. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
***SPOILERS*** Based on a Richard Oursler article in Readers Digest about the real life murder of popular Catholic priest Father George A. Lambert, Wyrley Brich, Eli Kazan's "Boomerang!" doesn't go into who murdered Father Lambert, the killer was ever apprehended, but in the story of the Innocent man accused of killing him ex-GI and town drifter John Waldron, Arthur Kennedy. With the murder investigation of Father Lambert going nowhere the local Stamford political machine, run by power-broker T.M Wade( Taylor Holmes), goes full-blast in attacking the city administration of reform Mayor Swayze, Walter Greaza,in hopes of getting it's man elected mayor.
The murder of Father Lambert turns out to be a political football between the two warring political parties instead of a police affair and investigation. After Waldron is arrested in Ohio and sent back to Conn. to stand trial State Prosecutor Henry Harvey, Dana Andrews, is put on the case. Waldron mentally pounded for three straight days by the police not allowing him to sleep breaks down and confesses to the Lambart murder making his conviction a forgone conclusion.
As prosecutor Harvey looks closely at the evidence against Waldon he realizes that the man may very well be innocent. If convicted he'll, Harvey, have to live for the rest of his with the thought that he sent a innocent man to his death. Harvey later finds out that a lot is riding on Waldon's conviction and it has nothing to do with the murder of Father Lambart. A non-conviction will effect the re-election chances of Mayor Swayze. Harvey is also running the risk of destroying a promising political career in state politics, he's already being groomed to be the states governor, by getting Waldon off even if he's innocent.
Well paced and honest film about big city politics with a stellar performance by Dana Andrews who didn't let his career ambitions get in the way of his sense of justice. Also in "Boomerang!" is Jane Wyatt as Prosecutor Harvey's wife Madge. Madge was tricked into an under-the-table deal by the city's Commissioner of Public Works Mac McCreery, Ed Begley, McCreery was terrified that if Mayor Swayze didn't get re-elected and agree, as he promised him, to have the city of Stamford buy his real-estate property it would in the and financially ruin McCreery and possibly land Madge behind bars.
Powerful ending sequence in a Stamford courtroom that has all the drama and tension of that of a very good fictitious movie screenplay but in this case all that happened in the movie also happened in real life.
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