6.6/10
327
12 user 2 critic

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 »

Director:

Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Dead of Night (1945)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An architect senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality. The guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales.

Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave, Roland Culver
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The lifestyles of Arlene and Valkyr Bradford, half-sisters from a respected San Francisco family, diverge markedly as Arlene takes up with criminals.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Bette Davis, Donald Woods, Margaret Lindsay
Crossroads (1942)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Diplomat is blackmailed for crimes he committed before he had amnesia.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: William Powell, Hedy Lamarr, Claire Trevor
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A bitter land dispute causes a Civil War veteran to take extreme action.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Glenn Ford, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fugitive Bill Saunders and lonely nurse Jane Wharton are crossed by fate when he hides out in her apartment.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Burt Lancaster, Robert Newton
Ruthless (1948)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by ... See full summary »

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Zachary Scott, Louis Hayward, Diana Lynn
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In an idyllic setting, a likable but dangerously volatile twelve-year-old boy tries to settle a score with his disagreeable, mysterious neighbor.

Director: David Bradley
Stars: George Murphy, Nancy Reagan, Billy Gray
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Biography of celebrated American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Louis Calhern, Ann Harding, Eduard Franz
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After stealing a gangster's money and his girlfriend, a doctor heads for a small village in Mexico.

Director: Hugo Fregonese
Stars: James Mason, Märta Torén, Dan Duryea
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.

Director: Irving Lerner
Stars: Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jerry McKibbon is a tough, no nonsense reporter, mentoring special prosecutor John Conroy in routing out corrupt officials in the city, which may even include Conroy's own police detective father as a suspect.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Holden, Edmond O'Brien, Alexis Smith
Certificate: Passed Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A blind detective and his seeing-eye dog investigate a murder and discover a Nazi plot.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Edward Arnold, Ann Harding, Donna Reed
Edit

Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Behind the Law  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page