Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

1956

Crime / Drama / Film-Noir

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 69%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 56%
IMDb Rating 0 10 0

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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March 14, 2018 at 11:13 PM

Director

Cast

Joan Fontaine as Susan Spencer
Dana Andrews as Tom Garrett
Edward Binns as Lt. Kennedy
Sidney Blackmer as Austin Spencer
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
656.89 MB
1280*640
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 0 / 7
1.26 GB
1920*960
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 2 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by The_Void 8 / 10

Last but by no means least for Lang!

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.

Reviewed by blanche-2 7 / 10

good drama wrapped in a B production

"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.

Reviewed by secondtake 6 / 10

Too strained and imperfect for even Lang, Fontaine, and Andrews? Yes, sadly.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)

An early wide screen black and white drama that marks the end of Fritz Lang's American career and also shows the winding down of two great stars, Joan Fontaine and Dana Andrews. The film is no send off, exactly, but it is slightly tired, as if the formula of movie-making needs a twist and it isn't here.

That's not the point, of course. This is now the mid-fifties, crisis time for Hollywood, and with widescreen (and widescreen color) movies making a final jab at the rise of television. The plot is sensational, and not too far from what an extended early television drama might try, with mostly interior shooting and a staged (sometimes stagey) presentation. In all it's not Lang's best, and he was a master at both noir/expressionist drama and at getting to the human dilemma of fate and murder.

Andrews and Fontaine are not a bad pair—both are matched in calm and sophistication, and beauty, even, though Fontaine seems like an accessory until the very end. Andrews rules the plot, which makes him out to be a writer desperate for a new story. So desperate he's going to pretend to commit a murder just to test the justice system.

It's all so outrageous you want to believe it, though your mind says it just wouldn't happen. It's too convenient, and one man's suggestion from the newspaper turns out to be the other man's reality. Enough said!

Oddly enough, this is an RKO distribution even after the studio's demise (I don't know the reasons there) but it might point to a less than perfect crew. Certainly the cinematographer, which Lang relied on greatly in earlier films, is no one with credentials. Likewise the editing and writing are fairly routine, even lackluster. And so if a movie that depends on some psychological intensity is really a bit of a grunt effort, whatever the star power involved, it's a bit doomed.

So watch this if you are curious about any of the parts. I'm a fan of all three of the principles here, and so had to watch it. But I didn't walk away impressed.

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