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
According to contemporary newspaper articles, the rally scene was shot at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles over three days and used 2,000 extras - 750 of which were students from the nearby University of Southern California. See more »
At the beginning of the film, the "Private Beach" sign is obviously being illuminated by a hidden light, and not by the match the guy strikes on it. 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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Trial is an intelligently written look at the explosive issues of the 50s: race and communism. Though the film is hindered by its overly virulent anti-communist screenplay, it does try and deal with the intersection of race and justice in what was probably a very liberal manner in 1955. Trial is probably the first American film made with an African-American in an authority role (the always excellent Juano Hernandez as the trial judge). The film does take a wack at McCarthy (here 'disguised' as Congressman Battle) and also is openly critical of racists and nationalists. Even with the redbaiting--some of which is probably accurate--Trial is a very well made and brave film with one of Glenn Ford's best performances at its heart.
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