Judge, The

2235. THE JUDGE (1948-USA). With MILBURN STONE, KATHERINE de MILLE. Directed by ELMER CLIFTON. “The scales Of justice weigh the fates Of many men.” So observes a veteran magisÂtrate at the beginning Of this provocative and ironic morality tale. Its focus is on Martin Strang, described by the judge as “one Of the greatest criminal lawyers ever to appear before my bench.” Strang is a man whose brilliant but tainted mind has once too Often cheated the forces Of law and order. He does this by using his cunning to free guilty and dangerous criminals via legal loopholes. The story opens with one such Offender striking again. Ho is a psychotic killer named Tiflon. In a chilling sequence Tilton goes berserk and murders a crippled boy and his dog simply because he was bothered by the lad’s violin playing. Strang again takes up the killer’s case. It so happens that the county psychologist who examines Tilton also is involved in an illicit affair with Strang’s bored wife (who describes herself as a “decorative asset to a successful career”). The lawyer hatches a diaÂbolical scheme, the ultimate goal Of which is to seek vengeance against his wife’s infidelity. Along the way the scenario Offers pungent commentary with regard to morality and ethics in the legal proÂfession, issues which are as timely today as ever. This is one Of the last films directed by the prolific Elmer Clifton, a former assistant to D.W. Griffith. 70 minutes. Crime-Mystery-Suspense