Synopsis: This dramatization of a factual incident opens in a quiet Connecticut town where a kindly priest is murdered while waiting at a street corner. The citizens are horrified and demand action from the police. All of the witnesses identify John Waldron, a nervous out-of-towner, as the killer. Although Waldron vehemently denies the crime, no one will believe him. District Attorney Henry Harvey is then put on the case and faces political opposition in his attempt to prove Waldron's innocence.
Director(s): Elia Kazan
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

Some wag

once remarked that after New York...

it's all Connecticut.

The intent was humorous, but like many

sarcasms, it contained the germ of truth...

for the small cities which make up

the backbone of the nation...

are all in the same pattern.

That's why it doesn't

really make much difference...

that we have brought you

to this town in Connecticut.

The basic facts of our story

actually occurred...

in a Connecticut community

much like this one...

but they could've

happened anywhere-

in Oregon or Mississippi,

Georgia or Utah.

You may have other names

for your streets...

but whether you call them Center Street,

North Street or Main Street...

they're not much different

from these.

And the people, well,

maybe they dress a little differently...

or talk a little

differently here...

but underneath they're the same as your next-door

neighbor, and you probably know them all-

the cop on the beat,

the kid selling papers...

shopkeepers, lawyers,

good people, bad people.

And if your town is lucky,

you may have a minister...

who is as familiar to you

as Father Lambert was to this town-

a man known

and loved by all.

You might find him almost

any evening on Main Street...

taking his constitutional

after supper.

A cheerful, kindly figure

with a friendly word for everyone.

- Good evening, Father.

- Give me a match, will you?

- Sure. There you are. Good night.

- Thanks.

- Hello, Father.

- Hello, my dear.

Stop that man!

Hey, stop that man! Stop him!

Grab him! Grab him!

Is he dead?

- It's poor old Father Lambert.

- Somebody'd better do something!

Look out, look out.

I seen the whole thing.

- I was standing over there.

- So did I.

- I seen the whole thing.

- We'd better get the cops.

- Where's the nearest phone?

- There's one over at the drugstore.

- Well, go, somebody!

- I'll go.

Put down that pipe.

Don't touch a thing.

- That's right.

- Nobody touch anything until the cops come.

It seems incredible,

but in your town and my town...

these things actually happen.

Life is pleasant and a little dull...

and night after night, we yawn,

flick off the radio and go to bed.

Then one morning,

black headlines stare at us.

A war is declared,

the stock market crashes...

or a kindly old man

is shot down on the street...

and the quiet pool of community life

is suddenly stirred up.

Its waters boil, and its quiet currents

twist in new and devious ways.

- I can't believe it.

- No one in town can.

That's right. No one does.

Extra! Paper!

You better do this, George.

We took a vote, lady,

and, well, here.

- He did us favors from time to time.

- Put it up close, will you?

Thank you, boys.

Thank you.

More than any man I have ever known.

He gave his life completely to the service

and to the welfare of others.

He was simple and unassuming...

yet we who knew him

felt he wore the mantle of greatness.

We will miss him.

Yes, the death

of a man like Father Lambert...

leaves a gap in any community...

for unfortunately,

there are too few like him.

The old minister spent

most of his life here...

quietly building up

his parish...

sharing the simple life

of his neighborhood...

and, somehow,

imbuing his parishioners...

with some of his own

kindliness and humanity.

Maybe he was luckier

than most pastors...

for late in life a reform government

took over the city...

ousting the machine politicians

and bringing fresh impetus to city planning.

To such projects as parks,

playgrounds and recreational centers...

the old man gladly contributed

his own wisdom and experience...

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Richard Murphy

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Boomerang!" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Mar. 2023. <!_4493>.

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