Londoners Arnold and Evelyn Boult had high hopes for the life of their son, Edward. His relatively short life ended up being one of privilege but irresponsibility. His life ended at age 23 ... See full summary »
US Air Force veteran Ben Brown has been charged with the murder of aging Cole Clinton, a leading citizen of Durango County, New Mexico. Several months after the discovery of Clint's dead body, Ben was turned in to the authorities for a reward by his wife, Laura Mae Brown, who claims she witnessed the murder. Ben has signed two confessions to killing Clint, who picked up the Browns hitchhiking on the road on his way back home from an out-of-town cattle auction. In addition to the charge against Ben, Laura Mae is charged as a co-defendant, her trial to be separate from Ben's. Although the alleged murder did not happen in Durango County, the trial is held there where most of Clint's friends and family will definitely be in attendance, their goal to see Ben convicted and executed. Instead of District Attorney Paul Farish, Norris Bixby has been appointed special prosecutor to try the case. James Tucker, the presiding judge, appoints a surprised young widowed attorney named David Mitchell, ...Written by
When Richard Chamberlain goes to Clinton's house and the butler opens the door and says, "Good evening Mr. Mitchell," he closes the door and the reflection of a crew member holding a light can be seen in the glass of the door. See more »
As a break from his Dr. Kildare series, Richard Chamberlain got to get some good exposure on the big screen in Twilight of Honor. He didn't stray too much from his character of Dr. James Kildare though. Chamberlain is an idealistic young doctor on the small screen, on the big screen he's an idealistic young lawyer.
Twilight of Honor does have the potential for a television series. Claude Rains is the older and wise lawyer mentor here, just as Raymond Massey was on television for Chamberlain. Rains also has an attractive young daughter in Joan Blackman who aids both of the men in her life.
The real acting honors go to among others Nick Adams as the poor dumb hick of an Air Force veteran who is arrested for the murder of one of the town's leading citizens. The whole small New Mexican town is quite stirred up by the homicide and there's a lynch mob mentality brewing. A lot of very influential folks want to see Adams given a death sentence with at most a perfunctory trial. Adams is quite touching in his performance and was given an Oscar nomination for his performance.
Two other cast members worthy of note are James Gregory as the smarmy ambitious special prosecutor brought in for the judicial lynching. And the real surprise to me is Pat Buttram who plays the deceased and who's story gets told in flashback. For those of you who remember Pat from Green Acres, Hee Haw, or as Gene Autry's sidekick on his television series, this is quite a revelation. He's quite good in a serious role as a man going through a midlife crisis. But I'm sure the public just didn't accept him in a serious part, I can't recall him ever getting another one.
I'm sure MGM had a problem with this one. A few years later when made for TV movies started, Twilight of Honor would have been one of the best acclaimed. It sort of slipped in and out of the theaters before real notice was paid attention. That's a pity because it is a good film and catch it the next time TCM runs it.
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