Woman In Brown, The; Vicious Circle, The; Circle, The

2632. THE WOMAN IN BROWN (The Vicious Circle) (The Circle) (1948-USA). With CONRAD NAGEL, FRITZ KORTNER, LYLE TALBOT. This trenchant, based-on-fact courtroom drama works as a potent allegory that reflects the longing for racial and religious tolerance in a world in which bigotry and narrow-mindedness too often have prevailed. The scenario mostly unrolls in flashback. It is set in a small province in Hungary, not far from Budapest. A local baron owns most of the property in the area. Upon discovering that a wealth of oil lies beneath all of the land, he begins negotiating to purchase what is not already his. Then, a fourteen-year-old girl mysteriously disappears. Several Hungarian-Jewish farmers (who just so happen to own the remaining land coveted by the greedy baron) are rounded up and arrested. To their shock and horror, they are accused of the child’s murder. No evidence exists that she was even killed, but they are put on trial anyway. The crux of the story is set in a courtroom in which the men are tried for the crime. All of this is linked to the present, as a mysterious man known as George Turner lies deathly ill. He resides in a rooming house and has not spoken for years. All of those who know him assume that he is a mute. In his delirium, he suddenly utters the words “Father, forgive me.” It is the explanation of who he is and why he makes such a declaration that sets the story in motion. 63 minutes. Drama