Woman in Brown (1948)
According to those numerous testimonies presented by the defense, earlier in the day, my client, Joseph Schwartz (Fritz Kortner), is nothing more than a cold blooded murderer who killed a poor defenseless girl in his own family farmhouse.
But let's face it, your honor -- esteemed members of the jury -- where's the evidence to corroborate this claim? No mutilated body has been discovered yet. My client has no clear motives for wanting to commit this crime! Plus on top of that, let's not forget that the unscrupulous property developer, Baron Arady (Reinhold Schünzel), would like to see Joseph vacate his land for reasons of his own.
So please good people of the court, I beseech you to look favorably upon the accused. He's a nice man. He's a decent man. And despite whatever his son Joseph once claimed, I'm nigh on positive that's why what next transpires all goes 'EEEEEKKKKK!', when a bailiff suddenly screams at me, 'I beg your pardon, Karl Nemesch (Conrad Nagel). But a couple of local boys have just found a dead body floating in the swamp'. As a mother is mentally abused - two doctors get very confused - a prosecutor shows his real face - and at the end of the day, don't worry folks, a legal ace is on the case.
If you ever want to watch an amazing black and white court-room drama chock full of suspense, intrigue, plus downtrodden Hungarian women who wear those tatty looking prayer shawls, then I would highly encourage you to clap your eyes on 'The Vicious Circle'.
Granted, those who are around him don't seem very bright to begin with. And apart from that evil looking Baron -- plus that weasel-faced prosecutor -- by in large most of the supporting cast appear as if they've stepped off of boat arriving from
In a good way of course! Because this is a period movie set within a period
Now something else about this film I want to mention is how Conrad Nagel -- who plays the esteemed defender in question -- somehow manages to present himself as if he were some sort of patriarchal figure. Honestly, folks. Not since watching Gregory Peck in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' have I applauded a lawyer's performance so much! It was as though Conrad made me trust him by what he said, how he said it, as well as the way he held himself as well.
Also, despite how some of the supporting players came across, more or less most of them really supported this story-line in both plot and pathos. In some cases I'd go so far as to say they actually added some form of believability to these proceedings. A believability -- I might add -- that was there in 'story terms' from the get go.
Overall I'd say 'The Vicious Circle' was one hell of a great film to sit down and watch. The story was a suspenseful one by nature. The actors put on one hell of a show, despite some of them looking like beaten-up refugees. And as push comes to shove, what's not to like about a movie showing some justice for an innocent man?
THE RATING: A