The Accusing Finger (1936)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Prison Film, Psychological Drama  |   Run Time - 61 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Dynamic district attorney Douglas Goodwin (Paul Kelly) has no patience with murderers: his philosophy is "burn them all," and never mind the mitigating circumstances. But Goodwin finds himself on the other end of the spectrum when he is framed on a murder charge and sent to Death Row. During his long and agonizing incarceration, in which he comes face to face with several of the men he'd sentenced to the chair, Goodwin comes to realize that sometimes legalities must be tempered with compassion -- but he may never get a chance to exercise his newfound understanding on "the outside." The film's best scene finds Goodwin trying to persuade a terror-stricken condemned prisoner (Robert Cummings) not to attempt a last-minute escape. Ironically, leading man Paul Kelly actually served a prison sentence for manslaughter back in the 1920s.

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Keywords

capital-punishment, convict, conviction, courtroom, death, death-row, District-Attorney, electric-chair, evidence, killing, lawyer, punishment