The Thirteenth Juror (1927)

Run Time - 60 min.  |  
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Francis X. Bushman, who had made a comeback two years previously as Messala in Ben Hur, was still trying to hang onto stardom in this Universal feature. His character, Henry Desmond, is a combination hero/heavy. Desmond is a criminal lawyer, both talented and corrupt. He is involved with Helen (Anna Q. Nilsson), the wife of his friend Richard (Walter Pidgeon). Desmond kills a man (George Siegmann) in self-defense, but Richard is accused of the crime. He is convicted, but Desmond finally comes clean and admits to the murder. The Thirteenth Juror takes itself too seriously at times, making some of the absurd plot twists seem even more absurd. Bushman is his usual, rather stilted self, and his character is not very sympathetic. His career as a leading man, even in such character-type roles, was definitely nearing an end.

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Keywords

confession [criminal], conviction, corruption, extramarital-affair, false-accusation, friendship, investigation, lawyer, murder, self-defense