Circumstantial Evidence (1945 film)

Circumstantial Evidence is a 1945 American film noir directed by John Larkin and starring Michael O'Shea, Lloyd Nolan, and Trudy Marshall.[1]

Circumstantial Evidence
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Larkin
Produced byWilliam Girard
Screenplay byRobert F. Metzler
Samuel Ornitz
Story bySam Duncan
Nat Ferber
StarringMichael O'Shea
Lloyd Nolan
Music byDavid Buttolph
CinematographyHarry Jackson
Edited byNorman Colbert
Distributed byTwentieth Century-Fox
Release date
  • April 20, 1945 (1945-04-20) (United States)
Running time
68 minutes
CountryUnited States


Three witnesses swear they saw Joe Reynolds murder grumpy baker Kenny (Ben Welden) with a hatchet. Joe claims Kenny's fatal head wound was the result of a fall as they argued—the baker hit his head on an oven as he fell—but the eyewitness testimony prevails and Joe is sentenced to death in the electric chair. His buddy Sam Lord has an uphill struggle to prove his innocence.


Uncredited (in order of appearance)
Byron FoulgerBolger
John EldredgeJudge White
Selmer JacksonWarden
John HamiltonGovernor Hanlon
Ben WeldenKenny, the murdered baker
Dorothy AdamsBolger's wife
Edward EarleDoctor
William B. DavidsonChairman
Ralph DunnPolice officer Cleary
Ray TealPoliceman
Lee PhelpsPoliceman
Thomas E. JacksonDetective
Sam FlintPrison board member
George MelfordPrison board member
John DavidsonLawyer
J. Farrell MacDonaldJury foreman
Max WagnerTruck driver
James FlavinGuard
Ken ChristyGuard
Eddie DunnGuard
Lee ShumwayGuard
Lester DorrPrisoner
Emmett VoganBridge player
Harry StrangPrison guard

Critical reception

Bosley Crowther, the film critic for The New York Times panned the film, writing, "Darryl Zanuck must have had his back turned when Circumstantial Evidence slipped out the front gate of the Twentieth Century-Fox Studio. For a sillier and more tediously worked-out piece of crime melodrama than the picture which opened yesterday at the Rialto hasn't reached Broadway in a long, long time. Circumstantial Evidence is so full of hackneyed and incredible plot turns that one can never get even slightly interested in the involved set of circumstances which almost send a quite innocent, if belligerent, Michael O'Shea to the electric chair."[2]


  1. Circumstantial Evidence on IMDb.
  2. Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, April 21, 1945. Last accessed: February 11, 2010.
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