This Side of the Law (1950)

74 mins | Drama | 16 June 1950

Director:

Richard Bare

Producer:

Saul Elkins

Cinematographer:

Carl Guthrie

Editor:

Frank Magee

Production Designer:

Hugh Reticker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working title was Deadlock . Richard Sale's screen story was entitled The Doctor Deals in Death ... More Less

The film's working title was Deadlock . Richard Sale's screen story was entitled The Doctor Deals in Death . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Jun 1950.
---
Daily Variety
31 May 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
2 Jun 1950.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 48
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 48
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 48
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
31 May 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Jun 50
p. 330.
New York Times
7 Jul 50
p. 15.
Variety
7 Jun 50
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Deadlock
Release Date:
16 June 1950
Production Date:
18 October--early November 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 June 1950
Copyright Number:
LP297
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
74
Length(in feet):
6,687
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13554
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Trapped at the bottom of a cistern on the estate of Sans Souci, David Cummins reflects on the circumstances that led him to be imprisoned there: A week earlier, David is arrested for vagrancy and sentenced to thirty days in jail. Lawyer Philip Cagle pays his fine and offers him $500 to pose as a man named Malcolm Taylor. Cagle tells David that he greatly resembles Malcolm, who has been missing for almost seven years and is about to be declared dead. For reasons of his own, Cagel wishes to prevent that. David agrees to the masquerade, providing that Cagle pays him $5,000. David's act must convince Calder, Malcolm's brother; Calder's wife Nadine; and Malcolm's wife Evelyn, all of whom live at Sans Souci, and his arrival at the Taylor estate is a shock to all three. During the following days David learns that both Calder and Evelyn hate Malcolm, and that Nadine had an affair with him. Privately, Nadine tells David that she stayed with Calder for the money he would inherit if Malcolm did not return. Later, as Malcolm, David apologizes to Evelyn for hurting her, prompting her to assert that he is somehow changed. The following morning, Cagle advises David to protect Evelyn from Nadine's schemes. Later, Nadine notices that David does not have Malcolm's distinctive scar on his arm and accuses him of killing Malcolm in order to take his place. Nadine then threatens to reveal the deception unless he agrees to split the inheritance with her. After David tells Cagle of this conversation, Cagle secretly meets Nadine, with whom he is scheming to kill Evelyn ... +


Trapped at the bottom of a cistern on the estate of Sans Souci, David Cummins reflects on the circumstances that led him to be imprisoned there: A week earlier, David is arrested for vagrancy and sentenced to thirty days in jail. Lawyer Philip Cagle pays his fine and offers him $500 to pose as a man named Malcolm Taylor. Cagle tells David that he greatly resembles Malcolm, who has been missing for almost seven years and is about to be declared dead. For reasons of his own, Cagel wishes to prevent that. David agrees to the masquerade, providing that Cagle pays him $5,000. David's act must convince Calder, Malcolm's brother; Calder's wife Nadine; and Malcolm's wife Evelyn, all of whom live at Sans Souci, and his arrival at the Taylor estate is a shock to all three. During the following days David learns that both Calder and Evelyn hate Malcolm, and that Nadine had an affair with him. Privately, Nadine tells David that she stayed with Calder for the money he would inherit if Malcolm did not return. Later, as Malcolm, David apologizes to Evelyn for hurting her, prompting her to assert that he is somehow changed. The following morning, Cagle advises David to protect Evelyn from Nadine's schemes. Later, Nadine notices that David does not have Malcolm's distinctive scar on his arm and accuses him of killing Malcolm in order to take his place. Nadine then threatens to reveal the deception unless he agrees to split the inheritance with her. After David tells Cagle of this conversation, Cagle secretly meets Nadine, with whom he is scheming to kill Evelyn for the inheritance. Realizing that Nadine knows David's identity, Cagle pushes her over the cliffs. After Nadine's body is discovered, Cagle warns David that the investigation into her death will expose his imposture and asks him to pretend to sign a paper leaving the estate to Evelyn before he goes away. Cagle and David then leave together, but before they are off the estate, Cagle pushes David into the cistern and leaves him to die. When David comes to, he finds an identification bracelet belonging to Malcolm and realizes that Cagle killed Malcolm just as he has tried to kill him. While David is in the cistern, Cagle returns to Sans Souci and hints to Calder that Evelyn killed Nadine. Calder then tries to push Evelyn off the cliffs. Meanwhile, David has managed to crawl out of the cistern, and hearing Evelyn scream as she struggles with Calder, hurries to her rescue. During the ensuing fight, Calder falls to his death. David then confronts Cagle, who flees and falls into the cistern to his death. After David tells the entire story to the sheriff, he and Evelyn make a new start together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.