7.0/10
3,151
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.

Director:

Writer:

(story and screenplay)
Reviews

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
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
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
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    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  

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
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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
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
You and Me (1938)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, George Raft, Robert Cummings
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The public defender's secretary and an ex-convict get married and try to make a life together, but a series of disasters sends their lives spiraling out of control.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda, Barton MacLane
Edit

Cast

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 ...
Greco
Rusty Lane ...
Judge
...
Joan Williams
...
Allan Kirk
Trudy Wroe ...
Hatcheck Girl
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

What kind of man would frame himself for MURDER? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Film-Noir | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 January 1957 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Jenseits allen Zweifels  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Roy Thompson: Nothing about this case will be dead until Garrett is executed.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Private Property (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Last but by no means least for Lang!
17 November 2004 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

For his final Hollywood film, Fritz Lang decided to expose the pitfalls of capital punishment for circumstantial evidence. For this film, Lang has kept it simple; with the entire movie focusing on the central premise and not a lot of anything else going on. Filmmakers can sometimes saturate a film with lots of sub-plots, and it can have a huge detrimental effect on what the film is trying to achieve. By keeping it simple, Lang gives himself time to fully explore the implications of his plot and the film is made more compelling because of this. The story follows Austin Spencer; a person of stature that is continually campaigning against circumstantial evidence being used as a means to send someone to the electric chair. His efforts are unsuccessful, until he has the bright idea to have a man sent to death row on circumstantial evidence, only to be pardoned at the last minute by means of the evidence to prove his innocence being brought to light. Enter Tom Garrett; Austin's son in law to be, and the man that agrees to frame himself for murder...

This is perhaps Lang's best assault on the American justice system; he has created a story that is interesting and very plausible and it works a treat in that it gets you thinking about the fact that with this kind of law; someone really could be killed for something they didn't do. Of course, the chances of someone risking being put to death to expose this are unlikely, but then again; it's only a movie, so you can expect to suspend your belief a little for a point to be made. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt also features one of the most finely tuned plot twists that I've seen in a movie. Lang shows us everything about the plot; from the first ideas, to the setting up, all the way to the trial and because of this; the final twist comes as a complete surprise. It's been done and done a million times since this film, but despite this; Beyond a Reasonable Doubt still has the power to shock the viewer.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is one of the highlights of Lang's illustrious filmography. It has an unfairly low IMDb rating, and I hope that you will not use that as a means of deciding whether or not to see this film. It is efficient story telling at it's best and this is one of the highlights of the film noir era.


33 of 41 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:
?