7 June 2002 | richards-5
This is a pretty shameless piece of film-making. There is absolutely no hard evidence to support the film's flat claim that Bruno Hauptmann was entirely innocent, and most accounts of the Lindbergh kidnapping case, even those which cast doubt on his conviction, suggest that he was an arrogant, boorish man, not the kindhearted saint presented here. It's as unscrupulously manipulative as Ludovic Kennedy's original book, which has the temerity, in a work of non-fiction, to tell us what people were thinking about - and more than 60 years ago at that. There is, similarly, no back-up offered for the vilification of several of those responsible for Hauptmann's conviction. There are plenty of reasons to view the case with alarm, and to believe that Hauptmann was the victim of a miscarriage of justice (which doesn't necessarily mean he was innocent). To present so biased and distorted an account of the case does no good to the cause of getting at the facts. Stick with 1976's "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case", which sustains a neutral viewpoint - and is far more disturbing.