7.0/10
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52 user 29 critic

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | November 1956 (UK)
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:

Fritz Lang

Writer:

Douglas Morrow (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Andrews ... Tom Garrett
Joan Fontaine ... Susan Spencer
Sidney Blackmer ... Austin Spencer
Arthur Franz ... Bob Hale
Philip Bourneuf Philip Bourneuf ... Dist. Atty. Roy Thompson
Edward Binns ... Lt. Kennedy
Shepperd Strudwick ... Jonathan Wilson
Robin Raymond ... Terry Larue
Barbara Nichols ... Dolly Moore
William F. Leicester William F. Leicester ... Charlie Miller (as William Lester)
Dan Seymour ... Greco
Rusty Lane ... Judge
Joyce Taylor ... Joan Williams
Carleton Young ... Allan Kirk
Trudy Wroe Trudy Wroe ... Hatcheck Girl
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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 | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1956 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Jenseits allen Zweifels See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was made on a schedule of just twenty days. It was a box-office failure. See more »

Quotes

Tom Garrett: [to Spencer] It's a weird, crazy idea, but that's the reason it intrigues me.
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 »

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User Reviews

 
good drama wrapped in a B production
2 September 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" is a curious film - it has the look and feel of a B movie and two stars who had seen better days - Dana Andrews and Joan Fontaine - yet it's a good script directed by Fritz Lang. A novelist (Andrews) and his future father-in-law, a newspaper magnet (Sidney Blackmer) work together to prove that the death penalty isn't justified by framing Andrews for a recent murder.

I thought the story excellent with some exciting twists, though the whole movie has an underplayed (not to mention inexpensive) feeling to it. Fontaine seemed a little old for her role. However, she does a good job as a sophisticate, and Andrews is good as well. Barbara Nichols does a fine job in a typical supporting role for her.

Lang returned to Germany after this film, his last in America. It's an effective plot but one wishes the man who made Metropolis and so many other fine films was given more of a budget for his swansong.


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