Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Novelist Tom Garret (Dana Andrews) agrees to help wealthy publisher Austin Spenser (Sidney Blackmer), the father of his fiance, Susan ($Joan Fontaine) to plant evidence that will incriminate Tom in a murder and be sentenced to death, hoping to discredit capital punishment by revealing Tom's innocence. Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, the last American film of Fritz Lang, was made on a low budget, with poor production values and, unusual for Lang, not much visual style. Nevertheless, the film has … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Douglas Morrow
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 22, 2009
RKO Pictures


as Tom Garrett

as Susan Spencer

as Austin Spencer

as Roy Thompson

as Bob Hale

as Jonathan Wilson

as Lt. Kennedy

as Terry Larue

as Dolly Moore

as Charlie Miller

as Greco

as Joan Williams

as Allan Kirk

as Hat Check Girl

as Clerk

as Governor

as Announcer

as Customer

as Taxi Driver;Photogra...

as Foreman of Jury

as Secretary

as Clergyman

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Photographer

as Eddie
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

Fritz Lang's direction does what it can to inject suspense and interest but the melodrama never really jells.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Lang's most austere film, reducing the characters to pawns arbitrarily shifted in demonstration of a fascinating theorem.

Full Review… | February 3, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Once he's raised the standard social issues, Lang destroys them all with a shatteringly nihilistic conclusion.

Full Review… | February 3, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

While the purpose may be exemplary, the method the gentlemen employ is highly dubious as a practical exposition. And once it is revealed to prove their point, it should certainly put them in a pickle for conspiring to subvert justice and fool the courts.

Full Review… | February 3, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

It is a film of great economy and precision (it lasts only 80 minutes), with the terrifying inevitability of Greek tragedy and a pervading sense that man is his own worst enemy.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014

Fritz Lang's last American movie is an edgy study in moral ambiguity.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014
Total Film

Audience Reviews for Beyond a Reasonable Doubt


Beyond a Reasonable Doubt doesn't add up to much more than proof that Fritz Lang's best years were definitely behind him. The premise of an author setting himself up to be framed for murder to prove the fallibility of circumstantial evidence begs for something to go wrong when the only person who can prove his innocence gets killed. Lang set up the plan well enough and the whole period before the too-little-too-late twist at the end kind of dragged, but overall Beyond a Reasonable Doubt was just generally dull. Dana Andrews was just kind of there and watching Joan Fontaine in this movie was like watching off-white paint dry in a Midwestern state. If you're a hardcore Lang fan you may be able to appreciate this movie on some levels but its mostly just a big dull pile of whatever.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

Very clever film.

Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

Extremely well done Noir with some great twists. Joan Fontaine's performance has a lot more depth then the typical Noir character (certainly skirt) and she does a great job.

addie -

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