50 user 23 critic

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Drama | 25 January 1957 (Italy)
A novelist aided by his future father-in-law conspires to frame himself in the murder of a stripper as part of an effort to ban capital punishment.



(story and screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer has been killing beautiful women in New York, and the new owner of a media company offers a high ranking job to the 1st administrator who can get the earliest scoops on the case.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders
Human Desire (1954)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in a sordid affair with a co-worker's wife and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
Moonfleet (1955)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Moonfleet is set in Dorset, England. The Fleet refers to the land just west of Portland, Southern England.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Stewart Granger, George Sanders, Joan Greenwood
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a lovely wife and her new husband, settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers he may want to kill her.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave, Anne Revere
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, Paul Douglas
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A deranged writer murders a maid after she resists his advances. The writer engages his brother's help in hiding the body, and then watches as the brother becomes the prime suspect.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Louis Hayward, Lee Bowman, Jane Wyatt
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Reporter Peter Barter gets murdered while driving to his tv station. Commisioner Kras gets a phone call from clairvoyant Cornelius who saw Barter's death in a vision. But a dark force ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dawn Addams, Peter van Eyck, Gert Fröbe
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A German architect runs away with the maharajah of Eschnapur's fiancee but is caught and thrown in the dungeon, while his relatives arrive from Europe looking for him and the maharajah's brother is scheming to usurp the throne.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walther Reyer
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In Eschnapur, a local Maharajah and a German architect fall in-love with the same temple dancer.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walther Reyer
Adventure | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In WW2, the Allies race against time to persuade two nuclear scientists working for the Nazis to switch sides.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Gary Cooper, Robert Alda, Lilli Palmer


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Garrett
Susan Spencer
Austin Spencer
Bob Hale
Philip Bourneuf ...
Dist. Atty. Roy Thompson
Lt. Kennedy
Jonathan Wilson
Terry Larue
Dolly Moore
William F. Leicester ...
Charlie Miller (as William Lester)
Dan Seymour ...
Rusty Lane ...
Joyce Taylor ...
Joan Williams
Allan Kirk
Trudy Wroe ...
Hatcheck Girl


Investigative reporter Tom Garrett is on leave from his newspaper job to work on his second novel. As Tom is having problems writing that second book, his boss and future father-in-law, newspaper publisher Austin Spencer, suggests he write a non-fiction book on capital punishment in their state instead. Both Austin and Tom have long believed that the state district attorney, Roy Thompson, has been able to manipulate juries into rendering wrongful guilty verdicts leading to the deaths of innocent people on death row. The plan would be to plant evidence leading to a guilty verdict of an innocent person in a murder case, Tom to be that innocent person. Austin and Tom would document all that planted evidence, and make it public after the rendering of the guilty verdict to reverse that wrongful verdict and hopefully lead to discussion of the merits of abolishing capital punishment. They decide that the fewer people that know about the plan, the better, which means not telling Tom's fiancée... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Put them all together they spell M-U-R-D-E-R ! See more »


Crime | Film-Noir | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 January 1957 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Jenseits allen Zweifels  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The last film that Fritz Lang made in the USA before returning to Germany. See more »


Austin Spencer: [to Garrett] You get engaged to my daughter, and all you can think about is capital punishment?
See more »


Referenced in Ritual (2002) See more »


Beyond A Reasonable Doubt
Sung by The Hi-Los (as The Hi-Lo's)
Music by Herschel Burke Gilbert
Lyrics by Alfred Perry
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One-off storyline deserves to be seen
29 April 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT isn't a bad slice of 1950s crime and indeed it has one of those one-off story lines (like DOA) which is thoroughly intriguing. The film involves a crusading journalist, staunchly fighting against the death sentence, who decides to implicate himself in a murder case in a bid to expose flaws in the justice system. Inevitably it all goes wrong, with horrendous consequences for himself and his loved ones.

The film is directed by Fritz Lang and is his last American movie, and you can sense his heart wasn't really in the material. The ending in particular feels tacked on and unbelievable. As a whole the film lacks the sense of mystery and atmosphere of the likes of WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS and SCARLET STREET, but that's not to say it's bad; it just could have been even better.

None of these things change the fact that the plot's a good 'un, even if there's one twist too many along the way. Dana Andrews makes for a solid and dependable leading man as always, and it's nice to see Joan Fontaine playing his love interest, even if she has little to do. Lang directs the various shock and drama scenes effectively and the courtroom spectacle is where this film comes to life, but something I can't quite put my finger on is lacking so I was left slightly disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What happened to the proposed re-make? rohosmit
Huge plot hole the_mark-1
can somebody please tell me what the suprise ending is? jaimetoutlemonde
DVD? Tapes? phantomfever17
Surprising fifties "film noir" thriller clive-38
What was with that hairstyle? corriganville
Discuss Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: