This is my entry for the 1961 Blogathon being hosted by Movie Movie Blog Blog in honor of his 57th Birthday later this month!
“This is no cross-examination! It’s a circus! ” – Col. Jerome Pakenham
Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Apr 2018)
Brief Synopsis – After a local woman is found raped, an Army attorney must try and defend his four soldier clients who are accused of the crime.
My Take on it – This is a film that I had never heard of before trying to seek a film for this blogathon and due to the cast, I chose to check it out.
Unfortunately, for a court room drama, it comes across as being quite tame despite the fact that much of the subject matter depicted and described was quite risque for its time.
The overall premise is a good one, but the execution of that idea just doesn’t work well enough here.
Kirk Douglas is great as the defense Attorney despite the fact that he plays his character very over-the-top yet he still manages to hold his own against the opposing council played by E.G. Marshall.
I liked the way that they blend together the issues related to German/American culture and military law in order to show how things can conflict on foreign soil.
They do a fair job using narration to make us understand how complex those various rules can be which allows us to get a much better grasp of the issues being dealt with.
Themain drawback of this film is that much of the mystery of it all is revealed too early and doesn’t allow for things to progress slowly and more efficiently for us to try and absorb it all.
Bottom Line – Interesting idea that just doesn’t work as well as it probably cpould. Douglas does a great job playing his character over the top and holds his own against EG Marshall as the opposing council. The mix between cultural issues and military ones is done quite well which allows us to try and understand the various conflicting rules from both sides.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Pro-Communist Dalton Trumbo (from his autobiography) helped out Kirk Douglas by contributing to the script. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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The film works for me due to the premise, location and interesting casting.
I’ve never seen this movie, but you make it sound intriguing, despite its flaws. Thank you for contributing this to the blogathon!
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