Up and coming, young lawyer Anthony Lawrence faces several ethical and emotional dilemmas as he climbs the Philadelphia social ladder. His personal and professional skills are tested as he ... See full summary »
Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. ... See full summary »
When 5 allied generals are captured in Italy in WW II, it is a propaganda nightmare for the Allies. The generals are all 1 star and refuse to take orders from each other in order to plan an... See full summary »
Captain Edward Hall returns to the USA after two years in a prison camp in the Korean war. In the camp he was brainwashed and helped the Chinese convince the other prisoners that they were fighting an unjust war. When he comes back he is charged for collaboration with the enemy. Where does loyalty end in a prison camp, when the camp is a living hell? Written by
Paul Newman's second film (but released after "Somebody Up There Likes Me") demonstrates that, even then, he was the truly finest screen performer around. But the very nature of his style has always placed him behind or to the side of more "bravura" actors of the time. Unlike Brando and Clift and Dean- he is much less self-centered; in other words he is a sharing actor. This puts the SCENE in focus more than the performance, and in this extremely underrated (and almost forgotten) courtroom drama you have one of the best scenes I have ever come across - a simple dialogue between Newman and his father, played by Walter Pidgeon (who gives one of HIS best performances here). The short scene takes place towards the end of the film and is pivotal to the story. It is a miniature master-class in technique, communication (or lack of it) and truth. There are clear parallels to "East of Eden" but somehow the shading here is less stark, which makes the confrontation so much more -real. Courtroom dramas, especially American ones, almost always work as on screen. The inbuilt tension and clear pattern of procedure, with gradual unraveling of facts and insights, is compelling, no matter what the case or period. This one is no exception. There are many cadences and moral issues are raised that one sometimes wishes could have gone even further. Otherwise the screenplay (based on a tele-play) is taut, careful and intriguing. So are the characters: Wendell Corey and Edmond O Brien as defense and prosecuting counsel respectively are particularly noteworthy, and utterly believable in parts that could easily have been stereotypes. If one must criticize, I would have to say that the first part of the film, before the court case begins, could have been curtailed slightly. Not because it is in any way uninteresting, but because it seems somehow rather unnecessary -as if just placed in to flesh out the film. But this is a minor criticism of a film that really deserves to be better known.
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