Guilty? (1930)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 67 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Guilty? could be regarded as a precursor to Citizen Kane -- except that the first film isn't one-20th as good as the second. The story begins when an elderly ex-convict suddenly turns up dead. During their investigation, the police interview ten of the dead man's closest associates, each of whom offers a different perspective on the man's life. Only the victim's daughter (Virginia Valli) knows that her father committed suicide -- and only she knows why. Surprisingly shy of star names in the cast, Guilty? is forced to rely on the power of its narrative to sustain audience interest; alas, it isn't quite enough. The film was adapted for the screen by Dorothy Howell, from her own short story "Black Sheep."

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Keywords

investigation, ex-convict, honor [recognition], marriage, sacrifice-for-family, self-sacrifice, suicide, suicide-attempt