Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Fritz Lang's last American film, shot in a stripped-down, almost anonymous style that seems to befit its bitterness and disillusion. Reporter Dana Andrews has himself framed for the murder of a stripper in order to expose the incompetence of the police and the fallacy of capital punishment. But after he's sentenced, the evidence that will clear him is lost when his editor is killed in an accident. Once he's raised the standard social issues, Lang destroys them all with a shatteringly nihilistic conclusion. Joan Fontaine is the Lang heroine to end (literally) all Lang heroines, at least in Hollywood (1959).

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