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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 <email@example.com>
Zanuck considered Lee J. Cobb for the part of Dave Woods, then later as Harris.John Hodiak and John Ireland were considered for the role of Chief Robinson, which went to Lee J. Cobb.Walter Huston, Fredric March and Joseph Cotten were considered to play Henry Harvey.Frank Latimore was considered to play John Waldron.John Payne and Margo Woode were considered for the leads. See more »
This is a pretty good, taut, realistic, gritty film-noirish film from the camera lens of Elia Kazan. Kazan gives us the story of a Connetticut district attorney bumping the legal establishment in Hartford by NOT railroading a suspect who he knows to be innocent despite exhausting pressures to prosecute from local elected officials, businessmen, police, etc... The film, as previously noted, has a semi-documentary feel to it - all due to Kazan's expertise behind the camera. Whilst the story certainly is engaging, the acting is all high-level here with Dana Andrews doing a fine job as Henry L. Harvey the attorney faced with an ethical dilemma. Andrews acting range is not too wide but he delivers here and is more than ably assisted by men(and women) like Ed Begley as a businessman gone bad, Jane Wyatt as his lovely wife(Andrews's wife that is),Arthur Kennedy as the suspect with seemingly little to say, and a couple of Kazan would-be regulars - Lee J. Cobb doing a phenomenal job as a decent yet hard-headed police chief and Karl Malden as a police detective. Kazan shows us the story from many angles and has the benefit of having a real story as the basis of his film. We see the angles of different political opponents, a jealous/crazy girlfriend, local people who saw the crime of a priest being shot, and the journalists who try to scare up any angle they can. Some scenes are quite jarring like the confession scene. Arthur Miller, the great American playwright is seen briefly in a scene of suspects being lined-up. He was Kazan's close friend.
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