Director: Henry Hathaway
Year Released: 1948
Popular newspaper journalist James Stewart takes on the additional responsibility of playing detective when a convict's mother puts an ad in the paper promising $5k for any info that will free her (she believes innocent) son - at first Stewart's character acts like a skeptic and doesn't want to get involved, but his desire for Truth, Justice and the American Way find their way back in his heart (Jimmy's original reluctance never rings true). It's caught somewhere between being a patriotic Capra picture - about man fighting against all odds, about the belief that all will work out perfectly in the end - and pseudo-documentary (demonstrating the polygraph and the picture-enlarging steps) but is mediocre in both areas: it leaves one neither inspired like Capra's best is capable of doing nor entirely captivated by the steps taken to freeing the man. While it's quite true that we, as a nation, are very capable of apologizing for crimes against our populace, there are an awful lot of people in jail who shouldn't be there....