5.6/10
72
3 user 5 critic

Circumstantial Evidence (1945)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 22 April 1945 (USA)
When his son is abused, Joe Reynolds threatens to kill the man responsible. When that man is killed, Joe finds himself facing the electric chair.

Director:

John Francis Larkin (as John Larkin)

Writers:

Sam Duncan (story), Nat Ferber (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael O'Shea ... Joe Reynolds
Lloyd Nolan ... Sam Lord
Trudy Marshall ... Agnes Hannon
Billy Cummings Billy Cummings ... Pat Reynolds
Ruth Ford ... Mrs. Simms
Reed Hadley ... Prosecutor
Roy Roberts ... Marty Hannon
Scotty Beckett ... Freddy Hanlon
Byron Foulger ... Bolger
Dorothy Adams ... Bolger's Wife
John Eldredge ... Judge White
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Mike Mulvey
Selmer Jackson ... Warden
William B. Davidson ... Chairman
John Hamilton ... Gov. Hanlon
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Storyline

A young lad has his fine new hatchet confiscated by a grumpy baker. The boy's hot-headed father tries to get it back, but this results in a fight in which onlookers seem to see the father use the disputed weapon to strike and kill the baker. At the resulting murder trial, their evidence on this point becomes a matter of life-and-death. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They've got nothing on him--except MURDER!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Acusar um Inocente See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Connections

Featured in Pulp Cinema (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dead serious, but like a `very special' episode of a sit-com
28 July 2003 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

This odd little movie opens with a lofty sense of purpose, dedicating itself to `the need of arousing every man and every woman to the dangers that lie in circumstantial evidence.' What ensues resembles a `very special' episode of a sit-com.

Single dad Michael O'Shea sends off for a set of Davy Crockett woodsman's tools for his son Billy Cummings (who even looks like The Beaver). Boys being boys, the kid starts busting up wood crates behind the shop of a neighborhood baker, who slaps him and confiscates the offending hatchet. Enraged, O'Shea goes off to retrieve it. In the struggle, the baker winds up on the floor, with a gash in his forehead, dead. Witnesses swear they saw O'Shea lower the fatal boom. Next thing, O'Shea's on death row.

Avuncular postman Lloyd Nolan, who played no small part in all that went before, takes Cummings under his wing. With Nolan's help, and that of his friends in an athletic club, Cummings stages a charade that convinces even the governor that his dad deserves a new trial. O'Shea, meanwhile, convinced that his situation is hopeless, decides to break out of prison....

It's hard to know for whom this programmer was made - the Saturday matinee peanut-gallery crowd? Despite a thick roster of B-movie stalwarts (Ray Teal, Reed Hadley, John Eldredge, John Hamilton), it's simplistic and implausible throughout. Only in its last moments does it rally, displaying any tension and visual style. One can't help wonder, with all that had just happened in Europe and the Pacific, what was the miscarriage of justice that precipitated this call to arms against circumstantial evidence?


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