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A Covenant With Death

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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(Sep 13, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Television favorite George Maharis (Route 66) makes the transition to big-screen stardom in this underrated courtroom gem, powerfully directed by two-time Emmy Award® winner Lamont Johnson. When Louise Talbot is found strangled, suspicion immediately falls upon her husband, Brian (Earl Holliman), a bad apple who threatened his unfaithful wife with bodily harm. Tried, convicted and sentenced to die, he’s brought to the scaffold, where he accidentally kills the hangman just as the real strangler confesses to the crime. Now the burden falls on Ben Lewis (Maharis) a young judge who must decide if the hangman’s death was murder or a case of an innocent man trying to save his own life. Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Becker, A Covenant with Death also features an early screen appearance by Gene Hackman, whose breakout performance later in 1967 Bonnie and Clyde would earn him an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: George Maharis, Laura Devon, Katy Jurado
  • Directors: Lamont Johnson
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008RNYN8M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,819 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After catching the very end of this film on a late show, many years ago, I have searched in vain to find a copy. It appears to have only recently been released. The video I received was of excellent quality and clarity. A compelling story with an interesting twist ending. Confronts a lot of moral dilemmas faced by those whose job it is to administer justice. Fine performance by Earl Holliman as a less than sympathetic character who nevertheless in entitled to a fair hearing, which is nearly denied him. A movie that was well worth waiting for.
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ive always liked katy jurado, and george maharis. i liked the way it was positive toward mexicans. / nice to see the innuendos the put in the movie, it showed the gringo, how they were at that time. but overall i just liked the movie especially jurado's acting, she was gem that should have got an oscar long ago. !!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Earl Holliman is great in this movie. I bought it 'cause my friend is in it. She's the corpse in the beginning of the movie. I gave it to her as a present. She never saw it.
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Format: DVD
1967's "A Covenant With Death" is based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Becker and produced by everyone's favorite "Cannon" and "Nero Wolfe" and "Jake and the Fatman:" Mr. William Conrad, who just happened to prior be coming out of a prolific period where in 1965 he directed three hit films that same year ("Brainstorm," "Two on a Guillotine" and "My Blood Runs Cold"). Conrad hired former actor and TV director Lamont Johnson to direct and cast George Maharis in the lead role. Maharis, so good in 1965's "Sylvia" (an otherwise terrible Carroll Baker opus), did well in "The Satan Bug" but in "A Covenant With Death" faced a more demanding role of a young Mexican-American judge who rules on a case where a man falsely condemned to hang for the murder of his wife and kills the hangman in self-defense before the real killer is found out and then is facing murder charges again for the death of the hangman. As adapted by Larry Markus and Saul Levitt, it is a rather talky picture with some unsympathetic characters given star roles like Katy Jurado and Laura Devon. The movie stars Earl Holliman as the condemned man, Arthur Kennedy, Sidney Blackmer and features Gene Hackman in an early role. Ultimately, one comes away liking Maharis's character but there is a kind of detachment from the character evident. Johnson directs soberly and would later direct some well-regarded TV movies (Emmy winners) and theatrical films like "Somebody Killed Her Husband." Warner Archive is presenting this DVD with no extras or trailer in a remastered edition that has a few imperfections, but otherwise is a stellar presentation of this meaty forgotten treasure of sorts. Solid moral entertainment and good to see Maharis get a chance.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this movie. So many issues brought to life. The acting is wonderful throughout. Especially George Maharis and Earl Holliman. It also has some really cute scenes. It is a movie you can watch over and over.
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