7.2/10
3,527
61 user 41 critic

Boomerang! (1947)

The true story of a prosecutor's fight to prove the innocence of a man accused of a notorious murder.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

Richard Murphy (screenplay), Fulton Oursler (based upon an article published in The Reader's Digest December, 1945) (as Anthony Abbot)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dana Andrews ... Henry L. Harvey
Jane Wyatt ... Madge Harvey
Lee J. Cobb ... Chief Harold F. Robinson
Cara Williams ... Irene Nelson
Arthur Kennedy ... John Waldron
Sam Levene ... Dave Woods
Taylor Holmes ... T.M. Wade
Robert Keith ... 'Mac' McCreery
Ed Begley ... Paul Harris
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Storyline

This dramatization of a factual incident opens in a quiet Connecticut town where a kindly priest is murdered while waiting at a street corner. The citizens are horrified and demand action from the police. All of the witnesses identify John Waldron, a nervous out-of-towner, as the killer. Although Waldron vehemently denies the crime, no one will believe him. District Attorney Henry Harvey is then put on the case and faces political opposition in his attempt to prove Waldron's innocence. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As "Boomerang!" happened in life - So "Boomerang!" comes to the screen - Real! True! Authentic! (Newspaper ads). See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 1947 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Bumerang See more »

Filming Locations:

Connecticut, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,140,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the people appearing were local townspeople, not professional actors, which certainly added to the authentic look and feel of the film. Reputedly their legal agreements caused a problematic rights situation when attempts were made to release the film on home video in later years (although televised broadcasts were not seemingly a problem). The film was scheduled for a VHS release in the 1990s but was abruptly canceled just before its scheduled release date. It was released for a very brief time on DVD in 2006, which resulted in an almost immediate recall. It was finally released on DVD with no further problems in 2008. See more »

Goofs

When Harvey is offered a sandwich by his wife, he never takes a bite. The reason is obvious, as the sandwich had become so stale during the various takes that when he drops it you can hear the sound when it hits the plate. See more »

Quotes

Off-Screen Narrator: But his everyday work was with the people of his parish, and especially with those who sought his advice and counsel. Since he was a man of God, his labors sometimes led him into the strange and secret places of men's souls. He was just and forgiving, but he was also a man, and a stern and uncompromising judge of character.
Father George A. Lambert: [speaking to an anguished-looking middle-aged man] Stop that! Even if I wanted to forgive you, I... I couldn't. It's out of my hands.
[pause]
Father George A. Lambert: Jim, you're a sick man.
Jim Crossman: But ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are listed in the form of pages of a book. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Backstory: Gentleman's Agreement (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

America, the Beautiful
(uncredited)
Music by Samuel A. Ward
Played during the opening sequence and at the end
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A great story presented in a semi documentary mode
26 May 2000 | by JB-12See all my reviews

This film is one of Elia Kazan's early efforts as a director. He presented this story in the semi documentary style pioneered by producer Louis DeRochemont in his "March of Time" short subjects and brought to full length status in Henry Hathaway's "The House on 92nd Street".

In filming this true story, Kazan took his cast and crew to a small Connecticut town similar to the one that the story occurred in. This concept was very effective.

Dana Andrews plays Henry L. Harvey, a Connecticut States Attorney who is prosecuting a particularly sensitive case in which a local revered priest was murdered and a homeless drifter was arrested for the crime after an exhaustive search in which the local police was criticized by both the media and local politicians. When Harvey begins to have some doubts, his case "Boomerangs".

The story is riveting from start to finish and the style Kazan uses adds even more credibility to it. (Kazan used on location filming a few years later in making "Panic in the Streets" and it was just as effective even though the story was fictional).

The acting is first rate. Supporting Andrews is Arthur Kennedy as the suspect, Lee J Cobb as the chief of police, Sam Levine as a reporter who knows all, and Robert Keith as a political leader (his son Brian, who later became a bigger star than his father, has a bit).

"Boomerang!" is a film made during the time when Hollywood was growing up. It's a provocative story about our judicial system that even when viewed today makes you think. And it's done to perfection


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