Twilight of Honor


1h 55m 1963
Twilight of Honor

Brief Synopsis

A struggling lawyer takes on a controversial murder case that could make or break him.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Legal
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
Chicago opening: 16 Oct 1963
Production Company
Perlberg-Seaton Productions
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Twilight of Honor by Al Dewlen (New York, 1961).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Cole Clinton, the leading citizen of Durango, New Mexico, is brutally murdered, and young attorney David Mitchell is appointed by the court to defend suspect Ben Brown. Although he initially believes that Brown is guilty, Mitchell begins to have doubts about the written confession authorities have obtained because it seriously conflicts with the story Brown personally tells; Mitchell's only encouragement, however, comes from retired attorney Art Harper and his daughter, Susan. When the politically ambitious special prosecutor, Norris Bixby, refuses to call several important witnesses, including Brown's voluptuous wife, Laura Mae, Mitchell becomes convinced that his client is being railroaded. With Harper's subtle guidance, Mitchell stumbles upon the truth--that Brown shot Clinton after discovering him in bed with Laura Mae. The prosecution, in trying to protect the dead man's reputation, brings pressure to bear on Mitchell to abandon this line of defense, but the unwritten law dealing with adultery sways the jury to bring in a verdict of "not guilty." Meanwhile, Harper is pleased that his future son-in-law has proven himself to be an honest lawyer.

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Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Legal
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
Chicago opening: 16 Oct 1963
Production Company
Perlberg-Seaton Productions
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Twilight of Honor by Al Dewlen (New York, 1961).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1963

Best Supporting Actor

1963
Nick Adams

Articles

Twilight of Honor


In 1963, Richard Chamberlain found himself in the same position as another actor, Lew Ayres, nearly thirty years before. He had become famous as "Dr. Kildare" in the TV medical drama series. Whether it was film (as in Ayres' case) or television, where Chamberlain had made his mark, the role of Kildare had turned into a curse; one that Richard Chamberlain had hoped to escape when he left the small screen for the big one with Twilight of Honor (1963).

The film, produced for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, revolves around David Mitchell (Chamberlain), a young attorney who must fight to prove his client (Nick Adams) innocent of murder even after discovering the truth. Chamberlain's mentor in the film was played by the great Claude Rains, making his final film appearance. Rounding out the cast was James Gregory and Joey Heatherton (who would earn a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Adams' wife.)

John Gruen, writing for The New York Herald dismissed the film as "More tedium than tension. Moments after some fast, furious and quite intriguing credits have whizzed past us, the production of Twilight of Honor settles into a predictable courtroom drama. Aside from a smirk-laden, not to say prurient script, it purports to be a showcase for the antiseptic acting abilities of Richard Chamberlain, who has won fame and fortune putting thumb to pulse as television's Dr. Kildare." The New York Times was kinder to Chamberlain, saying, "The guy's not bad. Here's the rub. Instead of letting Mr. Chamberlain, as a small-town lawyer, exercise in a harmless, old-fashioned vehicle, his sponsors have carefully spiced the old courtroom format to a fare-thee-well. The picture's no more for the kids than it is for Mr. Chamberlain. He has a bit of acting to do and does it with determined briskness." Variety praised the screenplay, saying the "[d]exterity which writer [Henry Denker] displays is matched by the shrewd, moving direction of Boris Sagal, who is particularly proficient in his realistic courtroom sequences."

When the Academy Award nominations were announced, it was Nick Adams who received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He lost to Melvyn Douglas in Hud. Ironically, Claude Rains' next acting assignment was co-starring with Chamberlain in a TV episode of Dr. Kildare.

Producers: Irv Pearlberg, George Seaton (both uncredited)
Director: Boris Sagal
Screenplay: Henry Denker; Al Dewlen (novel)
Cinematography: Philip Lathrop
Art Direction: George W. Davis, Paul Groesse
Music: John Green
Film Editing: Hugh S. Fowler
Cast: Richard Chamberlain (David Mitchell), Nick Adams (Ben Brown), Claude Rains (Art Harper), Joan Blackman (Susan Harper), James Gregory (Norris Bixby), Joey Heatherton (Laura Mae Brown), Pat Buttram (Cole Clinton), Jeanette Nolan (Amy Clinton).
BW-105m. Letterboxed.

by Lorraine LoBianco

SOURCES:
Claude Rains: An Actor's Voice by David J. Skal with Jessica Rains
The New York Herald film review by John Gruen, November 11, 1963
Variety film review, September 18, 1963
The New York Times film review by Howard Thompson, November 14, 1963
The Internet Movie Database
Twilight Of Honor

Twilight of Honor

In 1963, Richard Chamberlain found himself in the same position as another actor, Lew Ayres, nearly thirty years before. He had become famous as "Dr. Kildare" in the TV medical drama series. Whether it was film (as in Ayres' case) or television, where Chamberlain had made his mark, the role of Kildare had turned into a curse; one that Richard Chamberlain had hoped to escape when he left the small screen for the big one with Twilight of Honor (1963). The film, produced for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, revolves around David Mitchell (Chamberlain), a young attorney who must fight to prove his client (Nick Adams) innocent of murder even after discovering the truth. Chamberlain's mentor in the film was played by the great Claude Rains, making his final film appearance. Rounding out the cast was James Gregory and Joey Heatherton (who would earn a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Adams' wife.) John Gruen, writing for The New York Herald dismissed the film as "More tedium than tension. Moments after some fast, furious and quite intriguing credits have whizzed past us, the production of Twilight of Honor settles into a predictable courtroom drama. Aside from a smirk-laden, not to say prurient script, it purports to be a showcase for the antiseptic acting abilities of Richard Chamberlain, who has won fame and fortune putting thumb to pulse as television's Dr. Kildare." The New York Times was kinder to Chamberlain, saying, "The guy's not bad. Here's the rub. Instead of letting Mr. Chamberlain, as a small-town lawyer, exercise in a harmless, old-fashioned vehicle, his sponsors have carefully spiced the old courtroom format to a fare-thee-well. The picture's no more for the kids than it is for Mr. Chamberlain. He has a bit of acting to do and does it with determined briskness." Variety praised the screenplay, saying the "[d]exterity which writer [Henry Denker] displays is matched by the shrewd, moving direction of Boris Sagal, who is particularly proficient in his realistic courtroom sequences." When the Academy Award nominations were announced, it was Nick Adams who received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He lost to Melvyn Douglas in Hud. Ironically, Claude Rains' next acting assignment was co-starring with Chamberlain in a TV episode of Dr. Kildare. Producers: Irv Pearlberg, George Seaton (both uncredited) Director: Boris Sagal Screenplay: Henry Denker; Al Dewlen (novel) Cinematography: Philip Lathrop Art Direction: George W. Davis, Paul Groesse Music: John Green Film Editing: Hugh S. Fowler Cast: Richard Chamberlain (David Mitchell), Nick Adams (Ben Brown), Claude Rains (Art Harper), Joan Blackman (Susan Harper), James Gregory (Norris Bixby), Joey Heatherton (Laura Mae Brown), Pat Buttram (Cole Clinton), Jeanette Nolan (Amy Clinton). BW-105m. Letterboxed. by Lorraine LoBianco SOURCES: Claude Rains: An Actor's Voice by David J. Skal with Jessica Rains The New York Herald film review by John Gruen, November 11, 1963 Variety film review, September 18, 1963 The New York Times film review by Howard Thompson, November 14, 1963 The Internet Movie Database

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Released in United States 1963

Released in United States 1963