7.0/10
496
16 user 7 critic

An Act of Murder (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 18 December 1948 (Sweden)
A hard-line judge is tempted toward mercy-killing by his wife's terminal cancer.

Director:

Michael Gordon

Writers:

Ernst Lothar (novel), Michael Blankfort (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fredric March ... Judge Calvin Cooke
Edmond O'Brien ... David Douglas
Florence Eldridge ... Catherine Cooke
Geraldine Brooks ... Ellie Cooke
Stanley Ridges ... Doctor Walter Morrison
John McIntire ... Judge Ogden
Frederic Tozere Frederic Tozere ... Charles Dayton
Will Wright ... Judge Jim Wilder
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Russell
Francis McDonald ... Mr. Russell
Mary Servoss ... Julia
Don Beddoe ... Pearson
Clarence Muse ... Mr. Pope
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Storyline

Judge Cooke, good husband and father, is known in court as Old Man Maximum. Cooke's daughter loves defender Dave Douglas, who hates Cooke's attitude toward defendants. Cooke's life shatters when he learns his wife has terminal brain cancer; as her pain worsens, he begins to consider mercy-killing, but that would place him in the position of a defendant. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MERCY or MURDER? Can you condemn this man?

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1948 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Judge's Wife See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Nemo me impune lacessit," the Latin phrase quoted by Judge Wilder during the dinner party, means "No one attacks me unpunished." It is the motto of the Scottish Order of the Thistle, and is also used on certain Scottish and British royal coats of arms. See more »

Goofs

While the setting was Pennsylvania, the outdoor highway scenes were obviously shot in California. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Walter Morrison: What is incurable today is curable next Wednesday.
See more »

Connections

Version of I accuse (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Taut and Well Acted Film About Mercy Killing…Unheard of in 1948
28 August 2014 | by LeonLouisRicciSee all my reviews

Fascinating Film that Daringly Approaches the Subject of Euthanasia. In Doing so it also has Liberal Elements Inserted about the Rigid Judicial System that has a Tendency Toward Antiquated ("Powdered Wigs") by the Book Procedures.

Edmond O'Brien is the Lawyer that Questions a Hard-Boiled Judge, while Dating His Daughter. The Judge Played by Fredric March goes through a Tumultuous Time Dealing with His Wife's Terminal Illness. But the Acting Accolades must go to Florence Eldridge who Gives a Riveting Performance.

This Thoughtful Piece of Social Commentary is Rich and Rewarding with Taut and Suspenseful Scenes that can at Times be Heartbreaking. This is an Odd Movie to be Sure, and is Well Worth a Watch for its Genuine Concern about Troubling Things that are Rarely Discussed (especially in 1948), but Linger on the Fringe of Everyday Life.


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