Kazan's third film, a semi-documentary thriller loaded with social conscience (it was produced by Louis de Rochemont, the man behind The March of Time). Shot on location in a small New England town, it follows State Attorney Andrews' attempts to prove that a tramp (Kennedy) accused of murdering an elderly priest may, despite the town's prejudices, be innocent. The unemphatic presentation of details, the use of locations, and strong performances from a largely non-professional supporting cast, lend the film authenticity and power. But as Kazan himself later stated: 'There is a dramatic trick in it; it turns out there is a villain, and at a certain point the author uncovers him... Actually civic corruption is much more widespread. It is much more complex, and I know that now'.
Cast and crew
Lee J Cobb