Kangaroo Court


I get that the main message of the film was to be careful with your life, because if you take the wrong path, then things will work out against you later, as with Eddie getting framed for the robbery and killings. But come on, how can you convict someone with just a hat with his initials on it?? Where was the money?, the murder weapons?, the accomplices?, the getaway vehicle? And what about his alibi? If he was out and about searching for work, he might have had at least some contact with potential employers, the manager of his boarding house, etc. By today's standards, such an easy guilty verdict based on so little is laughable. But maybe this sort of thing would fly for those viewers in the 1930s (at least those who were not lawyers with experience with murder trials)

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Well, we don't see any of the trial, so we can only speculate. Although it could be the case that Lang was inferring something about due process, or just that he allowed for sketchy writing, I think the specifics of the case are less important than the theme of the difficulty of escaping one's past/fate. In fact, they might be seen to support the theme.

~.~
I WANT THE TRUTH! http://www.imdb.com/list/ze4EduNaQ-s/

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Since they didn't show any court scenes it is hard to speculate on why the court would rule the way they did.. As the other poster stated, it is more about theme than anything and the trial itself was just adding to that theme. If they had shown a trial I am sure it would be people like his former boss hearing him talk about how he had offers to do bank robberies and such or perhaps some 'eye-witness' who put him at the scene. Or even the cops arresting him who would say that he was armed and ready to fight to get away, actions associated with guilty people and not innocent people. But the importance here is surprisingly not in the details, just as the rest of the story seems inescapable for him once he has been in jail and is barely given a break by anyone other than the love of his life, the trial and verdict itself is inescapable as well. It doesn't matter if he does the right or wrong thing, nothing is going to work out in his favor.

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maybe I'm wrong applying 21st century judgment to thus movie, but there were holes in it you could drive a semi thru! Like how did the gun get in the mattress? Father Donlan?

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"All that was left at the scene of the crime was this hat"

"My God.... THE HAT DID IT!"

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I suppose other evidence that would come out would be his statements to his former boss about how his former gang was offering him a job to go back and rob banks.

His desperation for money and inability to obtain employment.

Probably some eye witness identification which are notoriously unreliable, but in that day people did not understand that as much.

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