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An Act of Murder (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 29 November 1948 (UK)
A hard-line judge is tempted toward mercy-killing by his wife's terminal cancer.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
David Douglas
...
Catherine Cooke
...
Ellie Cooke
...
Doctor Walter Morrison
...
Judge Ogden
Frederic Tozere ...
Charles Dayton
...
Judge Jim Wilder
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Russell
...
Mr. Russell
Mary Servoss ...
Julia
...
Pearson
...
Mr. Pope
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Storyline

Judge Cooke, good husband and father, is known in court as Old Man Maximum. Cooke's daughter loves defender Dave Douglas, who hates Cooke's attitude toward defendants. Cooke's life shatters when he learns his wife has terminal brain cancer; as her pain worsens, he begins to consider mercy-killing, but that would place him in the position of a defendant. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MERCY or MURDER? Can you condemn this man?

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 November 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

I Stand Accused  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Nemo me impune lacessit," the Latin phrase quoted by Judge Wilder during the dinner party, means "No one attacks me unpunished." It is the motto of the Scottish Order of the Thistle, and is also used on certain Scottish and British royal coats of arms. See more »

Goofs

While the setting was Pennsylvania, the outdoor highway scenes were obviously shot in California. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Walter Morrison: What is incurable today is curable next Wednesday.
See more »

Connections

Version of Murder or Mercy (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not for hypochondriacs!
8 September 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film's relentless plotline marches straight-ahead forward as you squirm, fascinated, in your chair. The story is the familiar one about the onset of terminal illness within a solid American family of the 1940s. Never mind that it delves into MGM-style sermonizing; the great real-life husband/wife team of Fredric March and Florence Eldridge portray the couple whose once-comfortable lives are now being separated by an unstoppable and fast-advancing disease. The helpless husband, the uncomplaining wife, and their final attempt to recapture happier days with a doomed weekend outing is the stuff of deep film drama indeed. The sense of onrushing darkness is tangible through the film-noir camera shadings of Hal Mohr (Captain Blood, Phantom of the Opera [1943], The Climax), and Daniele Amfitheatrof's rich musical score. "An Act of Murder" makes a profound statement on the value, and the fragility, of life.


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