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The Judge (1949)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 31 January 1949 (USA)
A crooked lawyer blackmails a client into a murder plot against his wife.

Director:

Elmer Clifton

Writers:

Anson Bond (original screen story), Samuel Newman (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Milburn Stone ... Martin Strang
Katherine DeMille ... Lucille Strang
Paul Guilfoyle ... William Jackson
Stanley Waxman ... Dr. James Anderson
Norman Budd ... James Tillton
Jonathan Hale ... Judge Allan J. Brooks
John Hamilton ... Lt. Edwards
Joseph Forte Joseph Forte ... District Attorney (as Joe Forte)
Jess Kirkpatrick ... Patrolman Patrick Riley (as Jesse Kirkpatrick)
Herb Vigran ... Reporter
Barney Phillips ... Reporter
Charles Williams Charles Williams ... Reporter
Tom Holland Tom Holland ... Court Photographer
Bob Jellison ... Court Clerk
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Storyline

Martin Strong (Milburn Stone), prominent criminal attorney, becomes conscience-stricken when his is forced to come to the defense of an insane killer whom he had freed from a similar charge a year earlier. Goaded by his scheming wife, Lucille (Katherine deMille),who is in love with Dr. James Anderson (Stanley Waxman), the county police psychiatrist, Strang finally goes off the deep end when he realizes his career has become a king-size failure. In a dual plan to seek revenge for his wife's infidelity and betrayal, he writes a will leaving his fortune to the families who have been wronged by the guilty criminals he has aided. His plan is changed when he accidently becomes a witness to a crime committed by a stranger, William Jackson (Paul Guilfoyle). Certain legal aspects of the murder appeal to Strang's warped mind, and he comes to the defense of Jackson, and secures his temporary freedom by a clever legal trick. Trying to prove to himself whether he has been right or wrong in freeing... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DON'T TELL ANYONE THE DECISION of 'THE JUDGE' See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 January 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gamblers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Odds are good this one was highly praised in Sweden and Italy...
18 December 2006 | by horn-5See all my reviews

...or: Well, that explains that.

In the exhibitor's press book issued with this film, there is a half-page, two-column story under this headline: Balance of Symbolism and Reality Is Important Facet of "The Judge" There we learn..."the delicate balance between symbolism and reality is one of the most interesting features of 'The Judge." While symbolism is used freely throughout, it infiltrates, rather than intrudes itself upon the consciousness of the audience. Instead of becoming an object in itself, a showcase for trick camera angles and self-conscious dramatic shots, the symbolism in 'The Judge' is worked in gently, a subtle shading to intensify the characters and action it supports. While the effectiveness of symbolism is exploited, it is made to keep its place in the anatomy of the picture."

(Thank goodness for small favors.)

"...Wiliam Jackson (Paul Guilfoyle), a little guy who is pushed around, is first seen in the uncompromising sunlight of a middle-class park, against the sculptured background of struggling figures at the base of a statue. He is trapped in the wire cage of a tennis court, and tried against the bleak bareness of a courtroom. All these backgrounds build unobtrusively toward making his actions in the contrasting Apartment 29 natural and even inevitable. They are an unspoken comment on, and explanation of, his character."

(A nerd is a nerd is a nerd)

"PROPS REVEAL CHARACTER: The office of Dr. James Anderson (Stanley Waxman), with its neat files and carefully cataloged data on human emotions, its stern furniture and well-ordered arrangement, portray the cold mind of the psychiatrist. Lucille Strang (Katherine deMille) is seen against a haughty background that shows the deft, impersonal hand of a professional interior decorator, artistically lovely but without warmth, showing she has spent money but no love upon it---pointing up her brittle and unsentimental character."

(Some of us clods just thought the dame had swell taste.)

"The props, too, speak their piece. Inanimate objects become characters in the story---Jackson's tinkle-toy that is crushed by the foot of an unheeding ruffian---the wire-recorder in Anderson's office that taunts Tilton (Norman Budd)---the gun that Strang steals from Anderson."

This course in fundamental symbolism ends rather abruptly right there, as if the printer had had all he could take, and just inserted a still of the scowling, bow tie-wearing Paul Guilfoyle in place of setting the type for a third column. Too bad. Perhaps the third column explained just exactly what a tinkle-toy was. Maybe it was a bedpan constructed out of tinker-toys from an Erector Set.

Did the writers explain all this to director Elmer Clifton?


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