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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

An Act of Murder (1948)



Reviews and Comments

A judge, overly focused on the letter of the law, rather than its spirit, soon discovers himself in a tragic and awkward position -- his wife is diagnosed to be terminally ill, and as her suffering worsens, he contemplates a mercy-killing. The character is an intriguing one, and the story is poignant. Yet much of the story's potential is left untapped. The couple's daughter, for instance, is not especially relevant. She's used as a prop, almost, rather than a character. Friction between father and daughter is introduced and never addressed; surely this tragic situation could have been used to develop and finally resolve that relationship, could it not? The closing speech at the end of the film is corny by today's standards, but it wasn't so much at the time. As a whole, the film fails to live up to its fullest potential but is still a moving story with something worthwhile to say.