Boomerang! (1947)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  28 April 1947 (Sweden)
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Reviews: 53 user | 31 critic

The true story of a prosecutor's fight to prove the innocence of a man accused of a notorious murder.



(screenplay), (based upon an article published in The Reader's Digest December, 1945) (as Anthony Abbot)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Sam Levene ...
Dave Woods - 'Morning Record' Reporter
Taylor Holmes ...
T.M. Wade
Mac McCreery
Paul Harris
Philip Coolidge ...
Jim Crossman


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It comes back at you again and again! See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 April 1947 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Perfect Case  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,140,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Playwright Arthur Miller is the tall suspect in the line-up. He was close to director Elia Kazan who would two years later direct Miller's "Death of a Salesman" on Broadway. For the play, Kazan plucked Boomerang's Lee J. Cobb to play Willy Loman, and for his son Biff, Arthur Kennedy. See more »


Off-Screen Narrator: ...But his everyday work was with the people of his parish, and especially with those who sought his advice and counsel. Since he was a man of God, his labors sometimes led him into the strains and secret places of mens' souls. He was just and forgiving, but he was also a man, and a stern and uncompromising judge of character.
Father George A. Lambert: [Speaking to an anguished-looking middle-aged man] Stop that! Even if I wanted to forgive you, I... I couldn't. It's out of my hands.
Father George A. Lambert: Jim, you're a sick man.
Jim Crossman - Killer: But ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits listed in the form of pages of a book See more »


References Smoky (1946) See more »


America, the Beautiful
Music by Samuel A. Ward
Played during the opening sequence and at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

A great story presented in a semi documentary mode
26 May 2000 | by (Long Island NY) – See all my reviews

This film is one of Elia Kazan's early efforts as a director. He presented this story in the semi documentary style pioneered by producer Louis DeRochemont in his "March of Time" short subjects and brought to full length status in Henry Hathaway's "The House on 92nd Street".

In filming this true story, Kazan took his cast and crew to a small Connecticut town similar to the one that the story occurred in. This concept was very effective.

Dana Andrews plays Henry L. Harvey, a Connecticut States Attorney who is prosecuting a particularly sensitive case in which a local revered priest was murdered and a homeless drifter was arrested for the crime after an exhaustive search in which the local police was criticized by both the media and local politicians. When Harvey begins to have some doubts, his case "Boomerangs".

The story is riveting from start to finish and the style Kazan uses adds even more credibility to it. (Kazan used on location filming a few years later in making "Panic in the Streets" and it was just as effective even though the story was fictional).

The acting is first rate. Supporting Andrews is Arthur Kennedy as the suspect, Lee J Cobb as the chief of police, Sam Levine as a reporter who knows all, and Robert Keith as a political leader (his son Brian, who later became a bigger star than his father, has a bit).

"Boomerang!" is a film made during the time when Hollywood was growing up. It's a provocative story about our judicial system that even when viewed today makes you think. And it's done to perfection

17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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