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14 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent race against time thriller courtesy of Fritz lang
A newspaper publisher (Sidney Blackmer) and a writer (Dana Andrews) concoct a plan to show the inherent flaws of capital punishment by planting false evidence at the scene of a crime suggesting that the writer is guilty of murder. Once the writer is convicted of the murder, the publisher will provide evidence of the writer's innocence. Of course, due to unforeseen...
Published on 28 Oct 2011 by The CinemaScope Cat

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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lackluster transfer for an unearthed Lang
Just watched "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" on my TV (32 inches HD) and it looked OK. Not mediocre, but not too good either. It was a little on the soft side, overly bright and interlaced, with quite a few instances of combing. The print itself was not in the best of shapes, but certainly watchable. I doubt very much though that anyone seeing this on a bigger screen will get...
Published on 25 July 2011 by Raskolnikov


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent race against time thriller courtesy of Fritz lang, 28 Oct 2011
By 
The CinemaScope Cat - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD (DVD)
A newspaper publisher (Sidney Blackmer) and a writer (Dana Andrews) concoct a plan to show the inherent flaws of capital punishment by planting false evidence at the scene of a crime suggesting that the writer is guilty of murder. Once the writer is convicted of the murder, the publisher will provide evidence of the writer's innocence. Of course, due to unforeseen circumstances something goes horribly wrong. Directed by Fritz Lang, it's an intriguing little thriller but it doesn't carry the weight of Lang's other (better) 1956 film, WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS also starring Andrews. It's ironic "twist" ending can be easily guessed at but it's expertly made nonetheless though Lang doesn't seem much interested in the subject matter. Still, I suppose that won't stop the Lang auteurists from seeing something in it that isn't there. Neither Andrews nor Joan Fontaine as his fiancee seem very present in their scenes but some of the supporting cast, in particular Barbara Nichols, Robin Raymond and Joyce Taylor as three strippers manage to make an impression. This was Lang's last American film before returning to Germany. The cast includes Arthur Franz, Edward Binns, Shepperd Strudwick and Dan Seymour.

The DVD via Expsure cinema is a bit on the soft side, lacking clarity and contrast but still watchable. No doubt Exposure did the best they could with the material available to them. It's presented in a full frame (1.33) aspect ratio.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great classic film, 16 Jan 2012
This review is from: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD (DVD)
I would highly recommend this film for the old black & white movie lovers. An interesting story with a twist
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond circumstantial evidence is possibly folly?, 4 Oct 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD (DVD)
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is directed by Fritz Lang and written by Douglas Morrow. It stars Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackner, Arthur Franz and Philip Bourneuf. Music is by Herschel Burke Gilbert and cinematography by William Snyder. Plot has Andrews as a writer who hatches a plan with his future father-in-law to expose the weakness in using circumstantial evidence to send suspects to the electric chair. The ruse is to plant "evidence" that will incriminate Andrews in a topical murder and see him sentenced to death. Then the two men will reveal their own photographic evidence to prove the folly of law and the death penalty. But it's a dangerous game to play, and fate and hidden secrets may have the ultimate say on the outcome?

It was Fritz Lang's last American movie, after wowing cinema fans with such excellent pictures like M, The Big Heat, Scarlet Street and While the City Sleeps, it's safe to say that Beyond A Reasonable Doubt is not the great swansong many had reason to expect. There's nothing particularly impressive about the camera work or photography, while the sets look distinctly under nourished. But veering away from our yearnings for technical smarts, film finds Lang determined to prove a bitter based point whilst enjoying dangling his protagonist above a fascinating pit of ifs and maybes.

The fascination comes from the court case that underpins the movie, as we observe the law unfurling its might, privy to the dangerous ruse perpetrated by Andrews' daring Guinea Pig. It feels cold in narrative, and most certainly that is intentional because the last fifteen minutes of film pulls the rug from under everyone and finally reveals its hand. It's then, as the end card appears, that the film comes full circle and delivers on the promise of a game of human chess. Where the winner is not innocence or guilt, but something that drives many a film noir picture, that which concerns the vagaries of fate.

The main cast players rightly play it sedately, with Andrews calm and understated, and Fontaine regal like and serene in dialogue delivery. Best turns come from the support slots, with Blackner most interesting as the newspaper publisher-come potential father-in-law-come the man who originated the idea for the "hoax", and Barbara Nichols who charms and entertains as the air head dancer who becomes a critical pawn in this particularly tricksy game of deceit and suspicion. It's never overtly film noir until the last quarter, and really it's a court room/legal drama sprinkled with some less than sparkly dust. Yet in spite of the undeniable contrivances that reside within the plot, this is still prime Lang for the way it observes the law and the human condition that said law brings out of the skin. 7.5/10
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little thriller!, 29 July 2011
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This review is from: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD (DVD)
I've always liked crafty thrillers and thoroughly enjoyed this one. I didn't know Fritz Lang had made films like this, so now I'm on the lookout for his others.

I can't see why the previous reviewer didn't like the quality as it looks very good on my large LCD TV. Considering the film's obscurity, a few print scratches are quite acceptable and I'm very glad that someone bothered to issue it properly on DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic film noir, 6 Mar 2013
By 
Robin "Rob37n" (Hull, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD (DVD)
This film is superbly crafted, draws you into the story, and doesn't let up with it's pace and ingenuity. The quality of the print is good and the DVD is nicely packaged too. This film is well worth watching, you will not be disappointed with the outcome, either with the film or your purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The twist is in the tail, 24 April 2012
This review is from: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD (DVD)
A taut thriller from one of the best decades in film, the 1950s. There's no chance of the attention straying while watching this. Various questions went through my mind as to how it would end, and if there was a villain there that was unsuspected - the prospective father-in-law, for example, who sets the whole idea in motion of exposing the danger of relying on evidence which seems to be beyond doubt...with his prospective son-in-law the guinea pig. Not to be missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DVD, 13 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD (DVD)
A VERY Good DVD GOT FOR MY MOTHER AND SHE ENJOYED IT. i WOULD BUY MORE AGAIN DEFINITELY FOR MYSELF.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My view of film, 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD (DVD)
It was a very good film and surprise at end well worth buying For a present for someone who likes old films
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brian, 8 Aug 2011
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This is a very good old movie and one that can keep viewers guessing and it has an excellent ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything perfect, very satisfied, 11 Sep 2014
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Jan-Eric Nilsson (Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD (DVD)
Thank you! Everything perfect, very satisfied.
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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD by Fritz Lang (DVD - 2011)
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