Film Reviews, Short Review

Boomerang! (1947)

3/4

An early Elia Kazan picture, sitting somewhere between the work of a solid journeyman studio director of the time and the more renowned sense of theatrical realism we would come to expect from Kazan’s later work. Boomerang! stars Dana Andrews as a state’s attorney responsible for prosecuting the murderer of a popular local priest. Yet, as he analyses the facts closer, he begins to realise that the man is innocent, and the murder is being used as a show trial to boost the re-election chances of the local political establishment (the entire plot is apparently based on fact). Often billed as a film noir, it only occasionally presents itself as such; Boomerang! functions better as a fine legal drama, depicting rival factions and political intrigue in small-town America, a precursor to the paranoia and political show-jumping of McCarthyism. Extra credit goes to a variety of fine performances here from a number of excellent character actors of the time working in the US system.

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