Adapted by EL Doctorow from his own novel, The Book of Daniel, this fictional telling of the story of the Rosenbergs (executed in the 1950s in Chicago for Soviet espionage concerning the atom bomb) jerks every tear, rehearses every cliché, and obscures every insight that the perspective of thirty years might grant us. Hutton plays the son of the Rosenbergs (called here the Isaacsons), who becomes a hippy in the '60s and is convinced that if he can find the truth about his parents' guilt or innocence he will be able to free his schizophrenic sister from her madness. Unfortunately, Doctorow and Lumet mix this story up with a polemic about capital punishment. They also destroy their focus by never coming clean about what they think the Rosenbergs actually did. This leaves Daniel as just a psycho-political melodrama.
Cast and crew