Circumstantial Evidence [DVD] [1935]

Circumstantial Evidence is so expertly acted and directed that the audience is willing to forget its gaping logic holes. Pugnacious family man Joe Reynolds (Milo O'Shea), blowing his top as usual, threatens violence to an unlikeable storekeeper (Ben Welden). When the latter is killed, Joe is arrested for murder. Thanks to circumstantial evidence and faulty eyewitness accounts, Joe is sentenced to death in what seems to be a matter of days-and never mind that the defense attorney hasn't the presence of mind to enter medical testimony into the record. While awaiting his fate on death row (one of the nicest, most inviting death rows in cinema history), Joe is regularly visited by his young son Pat (Billy Cummings), who has always believed in his dad's innocence. For Pat's sake, Joe escapes from prison on the eve of his execution. Meanwhile Pat and a family friend, postman Sam Lord (Lloyd Nolan), have sought out the eyewitnesses whose testimony cinched Joe's conviction; with a little gentle persuasion, the witnesses probe their memories and realize that they were mistaken, and that the victim's death was accidental. Armed with this new evidence, Pat and Sam convince Joe to break back into jail so that his release can be secured through the proper channels.
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Overview

Synopsis

Circumstantial Evidence
A couple of idealistic reporters attempt to unmask an unfair system in this topical melodrama from poverty row company Chesterfield. Witnessing a man convicted of murder purely on circumstantial evidence, reporters Jim Baldwin (Chick Chandler and Spike Horton (Lee Moran) decide to demonstrate how uncivilized the system is by faking a murder of their own. But when the "victim," fellow newspaperman Fred Stevens (Arthur Vinton), turns up very much the worse for wear -- dead in fact -- Jim is found guilty on circumstantial evidence and condemned to death. He manages to escape and hunt down the real killer who, it turns out, had good reason for murder. Circumstantial Evidence, which was produced in the wake of the conviction of accused Lindbergh baby-killer Bruno Hauptmann, was based on a story by silent screen director Tom Terriss. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Chick Chandler
    Chick Chandler - Jim Baldwin
  • Shirley Grey
    Shirley Grey - Adrienne Grey
  • Image coming soon
    Arthur Vinton - Fred Stevens
  • Dorothy Revier
    Dorothy Revier - Bernice Winters
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