One of the most impressive of Fox's semi-documentary noir thrillers shot on location (here Chicago), this sees Stewart as a hard-boiled newspaper reporter latching on to a 'human interest' story of a woman slaving away for years to save the money which may help free her son from prison, and then setting out to prove the man innocent of murder. Besides the generally strong performances and Joe MacDonald's fine monochrome camera-work, what finally impresses about the film is Stewart's gradual development from sceptical scoop-hunter to a committed crusader for justice. Add to that the suggestion that the police are less than willing to be proved wrong in their conviction of Conte (it was a cop that he allegedly killed), and you have an absorbingly intelligent thriller.
Cast and crew
Jerome Cady, Jay Dratler, Leonard Hoffman, Quentin Reynolds
James Stewart Richard Conte Lee J Cobb Helen Walker Betty Garde Kasia Orzazewski Joanne De Bergh