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The Verdict (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 23 November 1946 (USA)
After an innocent man is executed in a case he was responsible for, a Scotland Yard superintendent finds himself investigating the murder of his key witness.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Supt. George Edward Grodman
... Victor Emmric
... Lottie Rawson
... Supt. John R. Buckley
... Mrs. Vicky Benson
... Clive Russell
... Rev. Holbrook
... Arthur Kendall
... Sir William Dawson
Art Foster ... PC Warren
... Barney Cole
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Storyline

Mr. Grodman was a respected superintendent at Scotland Yard until a mistake in an investigation caused the execution of an innocent man. He takes the blame and is dismissed, replaced by the obnoxious, gloating Buckley. Feeling vengeful, Grodman would like nothing more than to see Buckley look foolish on the job. His friend Victor Emmric, an artist with macabre tastes, wouldn't mind either and soon a mysterious murder occurs that may provide them with the chance. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

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Approved | See all certifications »
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23 November 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El veredicto  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was a major strike in the Warner Bros studio during the production of the film. Don Siegel and the crew had problem to get through the studios fence. See more »

Quotes

Supt. George Edward Grodman: I feel as if I were drinking at my own wake.
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Connections

Version of The Crime Doctor (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Give Me a Little Bit
(uncredited)
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
Performed by Joan Lorring
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User Reviews

 
Peter Lorre shines in brilliant Scotland Yard mystery
20 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

The Verdict is an absolutely absorbing and ingenious locked-room murder mystery, complete with sheer performances and irresistible gothic atmosphere. Set in London, near the end of the 19th century this intelligent movie handles about a seemly insolvable murder. Superintendent Grodman hunts down the murderer of the man who lives across him…unofficially, because Scotland Yard dismissed him after making a mistake in his previous case, which resulted in the execution of an innocent man. Grodman playfully amuses himself by fooling and not helping Supt. Buckley…the ambitious vulture successor who gladly witnessed Grodman's resignation. The characters and their backgrounds in this film are so fascinating…the speculative possibilities and ‘maybe'-motivations are so left open that the Verdict really became the most unpredictable ‘whodunit' thriller I ever saw. And I'm utterly impressed by that. Director Don Siegel based his film on the novel by Israel Zangwill and I can clearly see why this author often gets referred to as ‘the father detective thrillers'. Both basic plot and screenplay are flawless and compelling, complete with fiendish dialogues. Plus…the atmosphere and structure are genius film-noir and gothic-like which is completely Don Siegel's achievement. Siegel, who shot his first long-feature film with The Verdict delivers one of the most powerful debuts in film history ever. Almost as remarkable as John Huston's debut with The Maltese Falcon, I dare to say… There are constant undertones of diabolicalness present, resulting in a high rate finale that leaves you completely speechless. Terrifically done! At one point, we even receive a pretext of what `12 Angry Men' will look like, 11 (!) years before this one gets released!! Don Siegel's later masterpieces perhaps overshadow this little highlight but, to me, this still is his finest film. And that certainly must mean something, seeing his entire repertoire contains milestone-titles like `Invasion of the Body Snatchers', `The Shootist', `Dirty Harry' and `Escape from Alcatraz'.

Of course, The Verdict wouldn't have been half as memorable as it is now if it weren't for the brilliant acting performances. Peter Lorre on top, and not exclusively since he's one of my top 5 favorite actors ever. Lorre is genius as ever as the amiable cartoon-artist obsessed by the sinister details such as corpse digging and strangling. Like in multiple of his other films, he also has a slight drinking problem which gives the film a tiny comical side-aspect. Sydney Greenstreet (best know as Bogart's concurrent in Casablanca) makes a great Supt. Grodman as he manages to remain distinguished and irritated at the same time. Without the slightest doubt, The Verdict receives a rating 10 out of 10 from me…and naturally, it comes with the highest possible recommendation. I'll even buy you a beer if you can name the murderer's identity before the film is over.


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