6.9/10
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17 user 6 critic

An Act of Murder (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 18 December 1948 (Sweden)
A hard-line judge is tempted toward mercy-killing by his wife's terminal cancer.

Director:

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Judge Calvin Cooke
...
...
Catherine Cooke
...
...
...
Judge Ogden
Frederic Tozere ...
Charles Dayton
...
Judge Jim Wilder
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Russell
...
Mr. Russell
...
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:

18 December 1948 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Live Today for Tomorrow  »

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.
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Connections

Version of Murder or Mercy (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Taut and Well Acted Film About Mercy Killing…Unheard of in 1948
28 August 2014 | by See all my reviews

Fascinating Film that Daringly Approaches the Subject of Euthanasia. In Doing so it also has Liberal Elements Inserted about the Rigid Judicial System that has a Tendency Toward Antiquated ("Powdered Wigs") by the Book Procedures.

Edmond O'Brien is the Lawyer that Questions a Hard-Boiled Judge, while Dating His Daughter. The Judge Played by Fredric March goes through a Tumultuous Time Dealing with His Wife's Terminal Illness. But the Acting Accolades must go to Florence Eldridge who Gives a Riveting Performance.

This Thoughtful Piece of Social Commentary is Rich and Rewarding with Taut and Suspenseful Scenes that can at Times be Heartbreaking. This is an Odd Movie to be Sure, and is Well Worth a Watch for its Genuine Concern about Troubling Things that are Rarely Discussed (especially in 1948), but Linger on the Fringe of Everyday Life.


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