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The Unknown Man (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 16 November 1951 (USA)
Prominent attorney Brad Mason takes on the defense of Rudi Walchek, a young hit-man hoodlum accused of murder. Convinced of the youthful thug's innocence, Mason get him acquitted. Later, he... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dwight Bradley Masen
...
Stella Masen
...
Joe Bucknor
...
Rudi Wallchek
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Judge James V. Hulbrook
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Andrew Jason Layford
...
Bob Masen
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Ellie Fansworth
...
Wayne Kellwin
Konstantin Shayne ...
Peter Hulderman
...
Sally Tever
...
Ed
...
Dr. Palmer
Robert Williams ...
Sam
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Storyline

Prominent attorney Brad Mason takes on the defense of Rudi Walchek, a young hit-man hoodlum accused of murder. Convinced of the youthful thug's innocence, Mason get him acquitted. Later, he learns from the murder-victim's father that Walchek is a low-level member of a protection-racket gang and was undoubtedly guilty. Mason is anxious to get the gang-leader, but when he discovers it is the eminently respected head of the city's Crime Commission, he feels that a conviction in a court-of-law would be impossible. In a rage, he kills the man, but all evidence, including the murder weapon points to Walchek. When the latter is again brought to trial, Mason, although he senses a higher justice is at work, feels he must defend him with the best of his ability. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Who are the mysterious powers? (US poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

16 November 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Behind the Law  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Conscience of the beholder
16 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've seen this film criticized with the statement, "If you can get past the moralizing..." That misses the point. Moralizing is in the conscience of the beholder, as it were. This is a decent film with a standard murder mystery, but with a distinct twist that surfaces midway through. The resolution leaves the viewer wondering, "What would I have done in this position?" And I have to believe that's exactly what the filmmaker intended. To that end, and to the end of entertaining the audience, the film succeeds. I also like the way that the violence is never on stage, but just off camera. We know what has just happened; it's just not served up in front of us, then rubbed in our faces, as it would be today with contemporary blood and gore dressing. Besides, the violence is not the point. The point is the protagonist's moral dilemma, which is cleverly, albeit disturbingly, resolved.


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