Twilight of Honor casts Richard Chamberlain in his first starring role, as a court-appointed defense attorney who takes on an entire New Mexico town, at the risk of his career, to save his client from the gas chamber.
Frank and often startling treatment is made of a section in New Mexico’s criminal code – No. 12-24 – which provides that a husband is innocent if he kills another man whom he discovers in the act of adultery with his wife. Henry Denker’s polished script, based upon the novel by Al Dewlen, brings out that Chamberlain’s client killed the town’s most respected citizen after he found him in bed with his trampish teenage spouse.
Dexterity which writer displays is matched by the shrewd, moving direction of Boris Sagal, who is particularly proficient in his realistic courtroom sequences. Chamberlain turns in a smooth and persuasive performance. He is surrounded by a thoroughly experienced cast to help him over the rough spots. One of highlights of pic is introduction of Joey Heatherton, a sexpot from the eastern stage and television making her film bow. In the part of the twotiming wife of the man up for murder she registers impressively.
1963: Nominations: Best Supp. Actor (Nick Adams), B&W Art Direction