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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>
Very good drama, employing documentary elements, about attorney Homer Cummings' pursuit of justice on behalf of a man wrongly accused of the murder of an episcopalian minister. Cummings went on to become Attorney General of the U.S.
Given the sloppy cases put on by prosecutors today with the only goal in mind being a win, given the intense political influences often in play in bringing cases to trial, Boomerang comes off like a fable about the way justice should work. Harvey, the prosecutor in this case (actually Cummings) refuses to bend to political pressure and rely on sloppy police work to win an indictment in the case of the accused man, beautifully portrayed by Arthur Kennedy.
The interrogation techniques shown in this film were pre-Miranda, but I believe interrogations like this still exist.
Elia Kazan did his usual great job of directing this stark drama and the cast is uniformly excellent: Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt, Kennedy, Ed Begley, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, and Sam Levene.
Toward the end of the film, Dana Andrews opens a book and reads a quote stating in part that the role of the prosecutor is to see that justice is done. In my experience and observation, it appears that most prosecutors have never read this statement. Maybe that's why Homer Cummings became U.S. attorney general and they haven't.
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