17 September 2016 | mrsmithgoes
Not very good
If it weren't for the fact that the idea behind this story is interesting, I would have rated it even lower. I haven't read the book, but it gets good reviews. The first several pages of the book in the free preview on Amazon did not feel like it described the same place or people as I saw in this film. The book also doesn't have any music like that in the movie. I think that's a good thing. Much of the music in the movie is forgettable at best, annoying at times.
In this movie there are too many excursions from the main theme, and Maharis isn't good enough to make those non-essential scenes believable or interesting. His scenes with his mother (Katy Jurado), as well as with Rosemary (Laura Devon), seem like mostly filler for a 1 hour 37 minute movie that could/should have been shorter. Katy Jurado was much better in "High Noon". Here she is okay, maybe trying at times a bit too hard to save scenes where Maharis isn't good enough. Devon's scenes -- both in number and length -- feel stretched to keep the movie long enough.
In other words, if you take just the legal and philosophical issues and work them into a television screenplay, this might have worked better as a 1 hour television episode of ... pick your favorite old legal show -- Perry Mason?. It also might have worked as a science fiction story on "Twilight Zone", where often difficult moral issues are faced head on -- such as the one about the robot that is accused of murder.
This movie does feature a couple of attractive actresses (Laura Devon and Wende Wagner), as well as an early-career performance by Gene Hackman and a good effort by Earl Holliman. As I said the main subject matter is interesting too. But don't be surprised if most of this movie doesn't keep your interest.