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The Sun Sets at Dawn1950

  • 3.4
An unusual "B" melodrama with a heavy religious undercurrent, THE SUN SETS AT DAWN takes place as a cafe of reporters await news about a young man's planned execution on the electric chair. Luckless his whole life, the boy (who is never named like nearly all of the characters here) swears to the prison chaplain that he didn't commit the murder he's convicted of. But can the truth come out in time to save him? The journalists' cynicism is contrasted with the earnest hand-wringing of the boy's waitress girlfriend, a sympathetic warden and his wife (among others). After a distinctively bleak, wordless opening sequence, there is so much morally fraught dialogue here you might think the film was derived from a radio play. But it was an original work that was also the last film (excepting one ill-fated, never-released feature shot in Japan) for Paul Sloane, a writer/director whose greatest successes came in the late-silent and early-sound eras. While this ultra-low-budget effort did not restore his fortunes, it certainly reveals him as a "Poverty Row" auteur with a lot of weighty ideas about guilt, mortality and faith on his mind. - Dennis Harvey

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Member Reviews (1)

...although, a very bit 'slow' - very (!very!) heartwarming ;)