Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
        Fritz Lang (1956)

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        Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, 1956
        1956, 80 MINS, US, B&W

        • Dir: Fritz Lang
        • Prod: Bert Friedlab
        • Scr: Douglas Morrow
        • Ph: William Snyder
        • Ed: Gene Fowler Jr
        • Mus: Herschel Burke Gilbert
        • Art Dir: Carroll Clark



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        This was Fritz Lang's last Hollywood movie and was a sad ending to it. In a way, it can be looked on as an indictment of how shoddily Hollywood treated the greatest film director of the 20th Century (and I'm sure if Lang were alive he would have agreed with that title!). The film has B-movie written all over it. Lang deserved better.

        A trick ending wraps up the melodrama in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt but comes a little too late to revive interest in a tale that relies too often on pat contrivance rather than logical development. Sure, Lang's direction does what it can to inject suspense and interest (and you would have expected little else from the genius that was # Lang) but the melodrama never really jells.

        Dana Andrews is a writer engaged to Joan Fontaine, daughter of a newspaper publisher Sidney Blackmer. The latter talks Andrews into going along with his scheme for showing up the fallacy of circumstantial evidence that has given ambitious district attorney Phillip Borneuf a long string of convictions.

        In brief, Blackner plans to plant evidence that will get Andrews arrested, tried and convicted for the murder of a burlesque stripper, recently found dead without any clues to indicate the killer. Scheme works as planned, except at the crucial moment Blackner gets himself killed.

        Neither above-mentioned players nor others in the cast add much to make the events credible, seemingly performing with an almost casual air.

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        2 STARS OUT OF 5

        Dana Andrews & Joan Fontaine
        Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, 1956



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