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“The Turning Point”

With a less expert technical touch and a less capable and personable crew of players, this exposé of civic corruption would remind you only of a dozen other racket-busting movies. Instead, it reminds you uncomfortably of real life, with special echoes of the Kefauver investigation. A hearing with full TV coverage even finds committee head Edmond O’Brien fiddling thoughtfully with his horn-rims, crime boss Ed Begley fiddling nervously with a pencil, party girl Carolyn Jones toying languidly with her furs.

And the people chiefly concerned in Paramount’s “The Turning Point” make an impression as more than newspaper headliners. You’re likely to feel involved in the personal affairs of the reporter smoothly portrayed by William Holden—at first cynical and detached, later a vigorous crusader. He’s a jump ahead of O’Brien in taking the lid off O’Brien’s home town, where the investigator’s dad (Tom Tully) is a supposedly honest cop.

Strong and harsh in the manner of a newsreel, the photography helps to sustain the illusion of reality. It’s a little rough on Alexis Smith, but she is plausibly cast as O’Brien’s aide and fiancée, promptly tabbed by Holden as a social-register type. The triangle built up between the three leads is discreetly underplayed, never interfering with the action; but again the stars win your sympathy.

Watch Adele Longmire in her highly emotional part. (Offscreen, she’s Mrs. Arthur Franz.) This and other minor roles give the film added force.



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