The story of a murder trial where a Mexican boy is accused of the death of a Caucasian girl. The two-faced attorney (Arthur Kennedy) who takes the boy's case is only interested in defending...
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The story of a murder trial where a Mexican boy is accused of the death of a Caucasian girl. The two-faced attorney (Arthur Kennedy) who takes the boy's case is only interested in defending him so he can exploit his Communist-backed organization for their own underhanded purposes. He and his organization bring in an idealistic law professor (Glenn Ford) who agrees to represent the boy in court. Written by
Though the film was made in 1955, it takes place in 1947. However, in the scene where Abbe, Barney and David are driving through town after their first visit with Angel in prison, most of the cars visible in the background are 1950s or late 40s models, including brand new 1955 cars seen in an automobile dealership window. See more »
[Blake and Castle are discussing the fund-raising for Angel Chavez's defense fund]
Look, it's not only the way you are raising the money, it's the people that are raising it.The All Peoples Party. Barney, half of them are a bunch of Communists, you know that!
Bernard 'Barney' Castle:
I'd say sixty percent, and some of the others are cheating the Party out if its dues.
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This is a very strange relic of the 1950s "Red Scare". While I do not dismiss this era as quickly as some (Stalin was evil and bent on domination and destruction, though Hollywood often sees the fear of communism during this era as unfounded), there were some unusual anti-communist films that are a bit preachy but very watchable--and important historically.
This film is about a defense attorney (Ford) who is being assisted by an organization that claims to be devoted to liberal ideas and free speech. However, over time, he sees them for what they are--opportunists who have NO interest in the young man on trial but are helping in order to undermine the American system.
Finally, I'd like to point out one performance that really stuck out in my mind. Juano Hernandez plays the judge. Considering he was a dark-skinned man of Hispanic descent, it was amazing to see him in a mainstream movie playing the part of a judge. His acting was excellent and it was wonderful to see a little bit of color injected into a Hollywood film of this era--this is no small feat.
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