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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Directed by Fritz Lang with Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer

Short


1956, U.S. Joan Fontaine is the “Lang heroine to end (literally) all Lang heroines” (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader), the fiancée of a man who plots his own imprisonment and framing for murder in order to help a newspaper publisher discredit capital punishment. Described by Martin Scorsese as “a savagely stark goodbye to Lang’s adopted country,” Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is an uncompromisingly pessimistic portrait of the modern world, its characters tortured by questions of guilt, innocence and their own dark destinies. Screened on a rare archival RKO Superscope print, courtesy of George Eastman House. NOT ON DVD!

“Lang, as is well known, always searches for the truth beyond appearances, and he searches for it beyond improbabilities… In [Lang's] earlier films, innocence with all the appearances of guilt; here guilt with all the appearance of innocence. Can anyone fail to see that they’re about the same thing, or at least about the same question? Beyond appearances, what are guilt or innocence? Is one ever in fact innocent or guilty?” — Jacques Rivette, Cahiers du cinéma

Noir Nights' double bill Hand of Justice pairs pantheonic director Fritz Lang’s last American film with B-movie king Phil Karlson’s tough take on morality and injustice. A key figure in the history of film noir, Lang arrived in Hollywood after fleeing Nazi Germany, bringing with him an understandably fatalist view of humanity. Karlson also knew his way around cruelty and menace—he witnessed a mob killing while working as a bootlegger’s lookout in 1920s Chicago. Both directors’ grim visions set characters caught in webs of violence and crime alongside prevailing questions of individual culpability and modern systems of justice.


Beyond a Reasonable Doubt


Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

June 11 @ 9pm

June 12 @ 5:30pm

Bright Family Screening Room

 

Tickets:

$10. $7.50 for Members & Seniors. $5 for Students.

Ages:

NR

Running Time:

80 minutes

Format:

Black and White, 35mm