Paul Newmans second film (but released after Somebody Up There Likes Me) demonstrates that, even then, he was the truly finest screen performer around -unlike Brando and Clift and Dean- he is less self-centered; in other words a sharing actor. This puts the SCENE in focus more than the performance, and in this extremely underrated (and almost forgotten) courtroom drama you have one of the best scenes I have ever come across - a simple dialogue between Newman and his father, played by Walter Pidgeon (who gives one of HIS best performances here). Courtroom dramas, especially American ones, almost always work. This one is not just a black and white confrontation. There are many cadences and moral issues raised -sometimes one wishes it could have gone even further- but otherwise the screenplay (based on a teleplay) is taut, careful and intriguing. So are the characters: Wendell Corey and Edmond O Brien as defence and prosecuting counsel respectively are particularly noteworthy, and utterly believable.
This film deserves to be better known!