Jim McLeod is a hard-nosed and cynical detective. He believes in a strict interpretation of the law and doesn't believe in turning the other cheek. The current object of his zealousness is Karl Schneider, an abortionist responsible for the death of several young women. Schneider's lawyer tells the precinct lieutenant that McLeod has his own personal reasons for going after his client. It turns out that his wife was a patient before they met, although Jim knew nothing of it. His world suddenly turned upside down, McLeod is too late in re-evaluating his priorities. Written by
The USS Juneau, mentioned by Detective Brody, was a light cruiser sunk at the Battle of Guadalcanal in November 1942. Its loss was notable for the deaths of five brothers from the one family, the Sullivans. See more »
In some of the close-up shots of McLeod and Schneider in the back of the paddy wagon, McLeod's shadow can be faintly seen on the rear-projection screen showing the street behind them. (Other shadows can also be seen.) See more »
Some films are so full of life they have to be seen again and again. I first saw this one in my early teens and loved it, despite difficulty in understanding it. Decades later I still love it, and always will. It has its flaws: everybody overacts (beautifully), as if on stage. The writing is a bit too well-structured, almost like clockwork, the characters are a bit too symbolic and easy to categorise. The comic relief kicks in just on schedule. The psychological diagnosis is too precise. And yet, this is one of the greatest films ever made. It has a sense of respect for the totality of life, and makes tragedy almost poetic. Fascinating though the plot may be, the essence of this film goes beyond plot. It's a symphony of cacophony. The playwright would have made a fine composer.
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