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Boomerang!

1947

NR CC
4.4 out of 5 stars (77) IMDb 7.3/10

Boomerang, directed by Elia Kazan, is a chilling film noir, the true story about the murder of a priest, the subsequent arrest and trial of a jobless drifter, and the efforts of young state's attorney Henry Harvey (Dana Andrews) to uncover the truth.

Starring:
Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt
Runtime:
1 hour, 28 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Elia Kazan
Starring Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt
Supporting actors Lee J. Cobb, Cara Williams, Arthur Kennedy, Sam Levene, Taylor Holmes, Robert Keith, Ed Begley, E.J. Ballantine, Rollin Bauer, Royal Beal, Wyrley Birch, Helen Carew, John Carmody, William Challee, Clay Clement, Philip Coolidge, Dimples Cooper, Harry Davis
Studio Fox
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Update!! It's in stock and for sale at Amazon Canada at CDN $16.99. Maybe Amazon U.S. can't get this disk. (limited release?)

(I have tried to ask customer service twice why this DVD is not listed. It is listed on Amazon Canada as a pre-order.) This DVD was released once before but it was withdrawn from sale soon after. It is based on a true story-a drifter(who is not guilty)is arrested and charged with the murder of a respected citizen in a small town. This nightmarish scenario is handled wonderfully well in a semi-documentary style by the director Elia Kazan. Dana Andrews gives another excellent noir performance.
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Format: VHS Tape
Elia Kazan's third directing effort was "Boomerang!" - a solid murder drama that explores the sometimes polluting effect that politics exerts on the legal system. In a small town, a beloved pastor is murdered in the street, shocking the local residents. Dana Andrews plays the prosecuting lawyer trying the case: clearly the biggest assignment of his career. A shifty ex-serviceman (the talented Arthur Kennedy) is indicted and appears unquestionably guilty. But is he? Everyone involved in the case seems to have an ulterior motive, and Andrews' character is determined to see justice prevail. The Oscar-nominated story was inspired by a true case; Andrews portrays Homer S. Cummings, who later became U.S. Attorney General in the FRD administration.

Despite being a satisfying crime drama, "Boomerang!" is a relatively neglected film, especially among Kazan's outstanding canon. Why has it been ignored? All aspects of the film essentially are good to very good, including the acting and direction. Perhaps the film has been hurt by its matter-of-fact tone and slow-building plot; indeed, the film may a bit uninvolving for some audiences, at least until an undeniably thrilling final court scene. In addition, the stars (Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb) are not marquee names; however, given its true life origins and the semi-documentary style, the movie actually benefits from a lack of star power. Finally, Kazan's other film that year also overshadowed "Boomerang!" - the multiple Oscar winner, "Gentleman's Agreement."

Overall, "Boomerang!" is an enjoyable foray into 1940s crime dramas that is well worth a look. Hopefully it will be released soon on DVD, allowing a larger audience to find this film.
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Format: VHS Tape
Dana Andrews had just appeared in the acclaimed Best Days of Our Lives, when Director Elia Kazan lured him to do this film. It is a fine piece of work as Dana Andrews plays a moral man in a political and moral quagmire of an ordinary American town. The documentary style was often repeated, but Kazan got it right first time.
It is a feast of fine acting with the camera moving from one small story to another. There are so many good actors in this film, but Lee J. Cobb delivers the best as the old time police officer.
This film was made just before the HUAC investigation of Hollywood which drove out social criticism of American life. It is an example of where Hollywood was going before the investigation strangled the life from Hollywood. The Best Days of Our Lives was another example of this type of film. It is direct and honest.
The choice of ending where it is not made clear about the killer makes it all the more interesting. I have no idea why this film is not readily available on video. It is a small gem that repays viewing after viewing.
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Format: VHS Tape
Boomerang, 1947 film

A popular minister goes for an after dinner stroll on Main Street on a winter evening. He stops, and a man comes out of an alley and shoots him in the back, then runs away. All we see is his dark coat and light hat, just like the witnesses. The police find many suspects who are brought in but none are identified. Finally they find one man who is identified by the minister's housekeeper. He argued with the minister that day, and has a .32 revolver that is identified as the murder weapon! The police question the suspect for days until he is ready to sign a confession to get some sleep. No third degree methods were used. The case goes to trial.

Can the owner of a newspaper manipulate the news to favor his political party? Can an alienist (psychiatrist) work to convict a suspect? The State's Attorney investigated the crime and the eyewitnesses. Independent ballistic experts said the bullet did not come from the defendant's gun. The eyewitnesses are recalled and their statements are shown to be inconsistent. The recreation of the crime at night revealed the problems. Can a spurned woman concoct testimony to incriminate a former boyfriend and collect a huge reward? The high point of this courtroom drama is when they reveal a flaw in the defendant's weapon! "Is one man's life worth more than the community?" Yes, a man's life is real, the "community" is an idea.

Interwoven with this story is another man from the community who was threatened by the minister for his behavior. [This could not be specifically mentioned.] He is the same size as the defendant and also owns a .32 revolver. The dark coat and light hat was very common then. Afterwards this man flees when not pursued, a Higher Authority passes judgment.
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