MacDonald Carey stars as an Atticus Finch like attorney in Count The Hours where he's asked to defend George Craven who is accused of killing an elderly rancher and his wife. From the reactions around the town the two were beloved in the community and everyone just wants to hang Craven and be quick about it.
His defense of Craven puts Carey's own relationship with rich girl friend Dolores Moran in jeopardy. And he's certainly not winning any popularity contest defending Craven. Still Carey soldiers on until the truth emerges.
Don Siegel got some beautiful performances from several of his cast members. First Teresa Wright as Craven's wife who is the picture of innocence. Her innocence makes you the audience as well as Carey believe in the rightness of the cause. Also Adele Mara poaches on what is usually Gloria Grahame territory. She plays a real low life white trash slut and she does it magnificently.
Finally though there's Jack Elam who was a former hand at the deceased's place and he's a former mental patient. That blind eye of Elam's served him so well in films he could play some really loony characters. Elam is at his bug-eyed best in this part.
It's sad that Don Siegel did not have a bigger budget to work with. As it is Count The Hours is a real noir classic and Carey's Dave Madison belongs right up there with Atticus Finch in the pantheon of film's incorruptible men of the law.