The Verdict (1946 film)
|Directed by||Don Siegel|
|Produced by||William Jacobs|
|Screenplay by||Peter Milne|
|Based on||The Big Bow Mystery (novel)
by Israel Zangwill
|Music by||Frederick Hollander|
|Edited by||Thomas Reilly|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
The Verdict is a 1946 film noir mystery drama directed by Don Siegel and written by Peter Milne, based on Israel Zangwill's 1892 novel The Big Bow Mystery. It stars Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre in one of their nine film pairings, as well as Joan Lorring and George Coulouris.
The Verdict was Siegel's first full-length feature film.
George Edward Grodman (Sidney Greenstreet), a respected superintendent at Scotland Yard in 1890, makes a mistake in an investigation that causes the execution of an innocent man. He takes the blame for his error, is dismissed from his position as superintendent and replaced by the obnoxious and gloating John Buckley (George Coulouris).
Soured by the turn of events, Grodman sets out to make Buckley look too inept to perform his new job. He enlists the aid of his macabre artist friend, Victor Emmric (Peter Lorre), and when a mysterious murder occurs, they realize their chance to ruin Buckley may have arrived.
- Ian Wolfe has a bit part as the jury foreman
Bosley Crowther in The New York Times was unimpressed: "It is rather hard to figure just what the Warners saw in this antique mystery story other than roles for Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. But even those are of slight consequence. ... Neither gentleman approaches his assignment with apparent satisfaction or zest. Mr. Greenstreet is puffier than usual, and Mr. Lorre more disinterested and wan. In the end, after various turns and skirmishes uninspiredly aimed to baffle and disturb, they both seem entirely willing to call quits."
Film critic Dennis Schwartz in 2011 gave the film a slightly more positive review, mostly due to the actors involved, writing of the ninth and last pairing of the two leads: "The routine crime drama, a studio-bound film set in a foggy Victorian England with Hollywood sets, is about a police officer who takes the law into his own hands to achieve justice ... Though unconvincing and a bit much as 'the perfect crime' yarn, the pairing of Lorre and Greenstreet is always entertaining and a welcome addition to any film despite the staleness of their comic relief act."
- The Verdict at the Internet Movie Database
- The Verdict at AllMovie
- The Verdict at the TCM Movie Database
- The Verdict informational site and DVD review at DVD Beaver (includes images)