Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Spencer Tracy, Sylvia Sidney, Walter Brennan, Bruce Cabot. An ethical young man becomes hardened by the mob rule that controls his town when he wants to marry his sweetheart but he doesn't have the money. An outstanding Fritz Lang drama. 1936/b&w/93 min/NR/fullscreen.
- Theatrical trailer
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
- The single-mindedness of a mob; what happens when people don't stop and think for themselves and get caught up in the furor
- Politics over justice; when a leading politician is more concerned about getting re-elected than doing the right thing
- How an idealistic, righteous man can be pulled down into a terrible vengeance for deaths
How do we get here? Here's my synopsis - focusing on the first half:
Joe Wilson (Spencer Tracy) starts off as the idealist man during the depression. He wants to get married to Catherine (Sylvia Sidney) but they don't have the money where they live in Chicago. Catherine gets a job in a small town. Joe joins his brothers and buys a gas station. After about a year, they have enough money to reunite and marry. Joe leaves to drive to the small town but gets stopped on the way and charged with a crime on circumstantial evidence. The townspeople get so indignant that a mob forms and they take the law into their own hands and threaten to burn down the jail where Joe is held. The sheriff calls in the national guard, but a prominent politician stops it as politically infeasible. The jail burns. Joe is presumed dead; but managed to escape. Joe is so embittered that he enlists his brothers to try the key instigators in the town for murder (lynching). The remainder of the movie is the trial where 22 people in the town are tried for Joe's murder. At the end, Joe shows up and gives a patented Spencer Tracy monologue about his changed belief in justice and that people don't always behave in a civilized manner. .
Tracy's transformation from the ideal everyman to vengeance seeking manic is totally convincing. The monologue at the end is a precursor to later Tracy efforts such as State of the Union, Inherit the Wind or Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Tracy never overplays - just carefully and believably builds up until he explodes with rage.
There are parts that are certainly dated - but no reason to detract from 5 stars.