6.5/10
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12 user 2 critic

The Unknown Man (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 16 November 1951 (USA)
Prominent attorney Brad Mason takes on the defense of Rudi Walchek, a young hit-man hoodlum accused of murder. Convinced of the youthful thug's innocence, Mason get him acquitted. Later, he... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Thorpe
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Walter Pidgeon ... Dwight Bradley Masen
Ann Harding ... Stella Masen
Barry Sullivan ... Joe Bucknor
Keefe Brasselle ... Rudi Wallchek
Lewis Stone ... Judge James V. Hulbrook
Eduard Franz ... Andrew Jason Layford
Richard Anderson ... Bob Masen
Dawn Addams ... Ellie Fansworth
Philip Ober ... Wayne Kellwin
Konstantin Shayne ... Peter Hulderman
Mari Blanchard ... Sally Tever
Don Beddoe ... Ed
John Maxwell ... Dr. Palmer
Robert B. Williams ... Sam (as Robert Williams)
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Storyline

Prominent attorney Brad Mason takes on the defense of Rudi Walchek, a young hit-man hoodlum accused of murder. Convinced of the youthful thug's innocence, Mason get him acquitted. Later, he learns from the murder-victim's father that Walchek is a low-level member of a protection-racket gang and was undoubtedly guilty. Mason is anxious to get the gang-leader, but when he discovers it is the eminently respected head of the city's Crime Commission, he feels that a conviction in a court-of-law would be impossible. In a rage, he kills the man, but all evidence, including the murder weapon points to Walchek. When the latter is again brought to trial, Mason, although he senses a higher justice is at work, feels he must defend him with the best of his ability. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The True-to-Life, Behind the Scenes Story of a Master Criminal! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Behind the Law See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting Film Hampered by the Hacks at MGM
5 August 2014 | by LeonLouisRicciSee all my reviews

MGM Produced Only a Few Crime or Film Noir Movies that were Above Average. Their Heart just wasn't in it and didn't Even Try Much Until the Post War Audiences were Paying More Attention to those Reality Based Movies and Rewarded the Grit and Edgy Films with Box Office Success. The Uppity Studio was Now On Board. Sort of.

They Relegated Second Units and Hack Directors, Less than Premium Actors and Writers and Provided Them All with Low Production Values and Reluctantly Joined in on the Opportunity to Make Money. Most of Their Efforts were Unsurprisingly Average or Worse.

In this Crime Procedural Walter Pidgeon and Barry Sullivan do Their Best to Elevate the Thin Storyline with some Gravitas. it does Raise this One Slightly Above Average with some Surprising Twists. But the Production Suffers from a Rushed Schedule.

One Example where the Movie could have An Added Bonus of Realism with a Heart Stopping Scene would be to Film the Death of a Major Character that was Sudden and Powerful Involving a Hit and Run by Truck. These Pedestrian in a Hurry Movie Makers Chose to let that Action and Drama Occur Offscreen.

Overall it is Definitely Worth a Watch for its Story of Corruption and Crime Unfolding in Front of a Good Hearted and Naive Lawyer that Finds His World View Collapsing All Around Him. The Way He Deals with it is Interesting and a Bit Different for this Type of Thing.


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