Glenn Ford plays David Blake, an idealistic law professor about to lose his teaching job. Why? He’d never served as counsel on a trial and it wa believed that wouldn’t do. They wouldn’t admit that: his contract was simply not being renewed. Wanting courtroom experience, he went from law firm to law firm seeking a sort of apprenticeship. Refused at evry turn, he finally hit pay dirt at the office of Bernard Castle(Arthur Kennedy). His secretary is Abbie Nyle(Dorothy McGuire).
Suddenly Blake finds he’s lead counsel on a huge case: the murder trial of Angel Chavez (Rafael Campos), a Mexican teenager accused of murdering a sixteen year old white girl/
The time is 1947 and during a middle of the night party on a private beach, a boy;s voice is heard hollering for help. Angel is found standing over the crumpled body of the dead girl.
The bigots in town are in full out mode. A lynch mob is averted by the police chief A. A. ‘Fats’ Sanders(Robert Middleton) by the simple expedient of promisng a first class trial followed by a hanging. Or he would never run for office again.
Naive man that he is, Blake figures out pretty quick where he stands. Barney Castle has his own agenda. He cares nothing for Angel. But the publicity value for raising money. Barney, you see, is a card carrying Communist and is using the trial in a Raise money for Angel Chavez’s defense. A big rally in New York nets over a quarter of a million dollars, very little ging where intended. The first jury pool is tainted by detectives visiting them the night before the tral with personal questions. The trial gets a black judge, what could be fairer than that, and Blakes get a subpoena from the House Unamerican Committee.
Can’t have a good film without a romance. Working closely with Abbe, Blake of course falls in love. As does she.
Enjoyed this film. There were quite a number of those “faces” in key roles. Know the face, but not the name.