Set in tsarist Russia around the turn of the century and based on a take untruth of a Russian Jewish peasant Yakov Bog who was wrongly imprisoned looking for a most unpropitious offence - the "routine killing" of a Gentile young man in Kiev. We viewer the unrelenting detail of the mouzhik-handyman's subsistence in prison and see him gain in level as the efforts to humiliate him and make him make a clean breast of fail.
Frankenheimer's powerful murkiness (taken from Bernard Malamud's equally flinty-hitting novel) further illustrates the prejudices and anti-semitism of Czarist Russia. Bates stars as the beggary-stricken Jew who, having been vacated via his wife, travels to Kiev and lands himself a decent job as a handyman by way of posing as a Gentile - until, that is, his concealment is blown after a environs murder and he becomes suspect compute anybody purely because of his true particularity. Bates is gorgeous, and so is Bogarde as the counsel who believes in his innocence but knows that to uphold it could be dangerous pro the local Jewish population.
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