A basically good idea for a film melodrama [from a novel by Eleazar Lipsky] is cluttered up with too many unnecessary side twists and turns, and the presentation is uncomfortably overlong.
Plot premise finds Spencer Tracy, practicing civil law after pressure of criminal cases had driven him to the bottle, taking on the defense of James Arness, a young man he has known since a boy, who has been charged with murder. Arness has been neatly framed for the killing, and asst district attorney John Hodiak sees it as a cinch case. Despite careful work by Tracy, he loses the case to Hodiak.
Arness is convicted, but Tracy does not give up and finally convinces Hodiak and homicide policeman Pat O’Brien there is still a chance to prove the frame.
The picture has a number of very good performances, sparked by the always sound Tracy. O’Brien, Hodiak and Diana Lynn, latter doing Tracy’s daughter, have comparatively shorter footage, but each comes through excellently.