The Judge (January 31, 1949)

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The Judge
 

Released on January 31, 1949: A scheming criminal attorney gets the best revenge on his cheating wife and her lover in a twisted but cunning way.

Directed by Elmer Clifton

The Actors: Milburn Stone (attorney Martin Strang), Katherine DeMille (Lucille Strang), Paul Guilfoyle (William Jackson), Stanley Waxman (Doctor James Anderson), Norman Budd (James Tillton), Jonathan Hale (Judge Allan J. Brooks), John Hamilton (Lieutenant Edwards), Joseph Forte (District Attorney), Jess Kirkpatrick (patrolman Patrick Riley), Herb Vigran (reporter with pipe), Barney Phillips (reporter), Charles Williams (reporter), Tom Holland (photographer), Bob Jellison (doctor's clerk), Al Rosman (crippled victim)

 

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The Mystery of the Smart Lawyer

When I was a much younger man one of my very favorite television shows was Columbo, starring Peter Falk as trench coat wearing Police Detective who seemed to bumble his way to solving cases against some of the smartest criminals in the world. On some episodes we would see the killer commit his murder, and watch him cover up his tracks and cleverly laugh in Columbo's face because he knew that Columbo could never catch him. Sometimes as I watched both the killer and the detective as they did certain things I would wonder what was going on . . . only to piece together the events later when it all came together. But I must tell you, none of the murder mystery adventures that I have seen to this date . . . and I've seen quite a few . . . none of them kept me in as much mystery and suspense as this one. With less than ten minutes left I was still not sure who was going to kill who, or if there even was going to be a murder. Hell's Bells, this movie has my imagination in a twirl . . . there are a dozen ways for this drama to end, and all of them looked possible but not probable. What did the writers have in mind when they wrote this one? What the heck is going to happen here? I know that the crafty lawyer who defends killers is going to do something wild, wicked and crafty, but what? I watched him plan and start to implement his grand scheme, but now with less than 8 minutes left in the movie I am on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. I am pretty sure that someone will die, but who? Milburn Stone, as criminal attorney Martin Stone, is playing a game of 'chicken' with a killer in the apartment of the man who is sleeping with his wife. Yes, there will be death before the movie is over, and who gets killed, and who gets accused of the murder, and who will have the last laugh . . . will become abundantly clear only in the final four minutes of this amazing thriller. But please do not skip the first part of the movie and rush to the end, because it will not all make sense unless you have witnessed the convoluted path taken by criminal attorney Martin Strang as he becomes the ultimate gambler in a game of life and death. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show . . . as you sit on the edge of your seat trying to puzzle the plot of this amazing mystery.

Herb Vigran, Barny Phillips and Charles Williams
Herb Vigran, Barny Phillips and Charles Williams
Jess Kirkpatrick and Milburn Stone
Jess Kirkpatrick and Milburn Stone
John Hamilton as Lieutenant Edwards
John Hamilton as Lieutenant Edwards
John Hamilton as the Police Lieutenant
John Hamilton as the Police Lieutenant
Cobina Wright Sr. as Regina
Cobina Wright Sr. as Regina
Jonathan Hale 1949
Jonathan Hale 1949
Joseph Forte as the District Attorney in The Judge
Joseph Forte as the District Attorney in The Judge
Katherine DeMille as Lucille Strang
Katherine DeMille as Lucille Strang
Milburn Stone and Stanley Waxman
Milburn Stone and Stanley Waxman
Milburn Stone as attorney Martin Strang
Milburn Stone as attorney Martin Strang
Milburn Stone at breakfast
Milburn Stone at breakfast
Milburn Stone in The Judge
Milburn Stone in The Judge
Norman Budd as James Tillton
Norman Budd as James Tillton
Norman Budd as deranged killer Tillton
Norman Budd as deranged killer Tillton
Norman Budd is given sodium pentothal and questioned by Stanley Waxman
Norman Budd is given sodium pentothal and questioned by Stanley Waxman
Norman Budd trying to play the violin with his crippled hand
Norman Budd trying to play the violin with his crippled hand
Paul Guilfoyle and Milburn Stone
Paul Guilfoyle and Milburn Stone
Paul Guilfoyle as William Jackson
Paul Guilfoyle as William Jackson
Paul Guilfoyle in the straight jacket
Paul Guilfoyle in the straight jacket
Stanley Waxman as Doctor James Anderson
Stanley Waxman as Doctor James Anderson
Tom Holland
Tom Holland