The Acquittal (1923)

When a wealthy man is found murdered in his bedroom, one of his two adopted sons is arrested and charged with the killing. However, the verdict at his trial is an acquittal. Since the ... See full summary »


Clarence Brown




Cast overview:
Claire Windsor ... Madeline Ames
Norman Kerry ... Robert Armstrong
Richard Travers ... Kenneth Winthrop (as Richard C. Travers)
Barbara Bedford ... Edith Craig
Charles Wellesley Charles Wellesley ... Andrew Prentice
Frederick Vroom Frederick Vroom ... Carter Ames
Ben Deeley Ben Deeley ... Butler
Harry Mestayer ... District Attorney
Emmett King Emmett King ... Minister
Dot Farley ... Maid
Hayden Stevenson ... Taxi Driver
Mildred Manning Mildred Manning ... Mrs. Crown
Anton Vaverka Anton Vaverka ... Russian


When a wealthy man is found murdered in his bedroom, one of his two adopted sons is arrested and charged with the killing. However, the verdict at his trial is an acquittal. Since the police don't seem to be particularly interested in finding the real killer, the dead man's daughter-in-law--the wife of the adopted son who wasn't charged--takes it upon herself to solve the crime. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

melodrama | based on play | See All (2) »


WHO KILLED ANDREW PRENTICE? That is the question you will have to solve in "THE AQUITTAL." (Print Ad- The New Zealand Herald, ((Auckland)) 5 April 1924)









Release Date:

19 November 1923 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Absolvição See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A Jewel Production. Universal, unlike many of its peers, did not own a theater chain. In order to distinguish its feature releases to independent theater owners, it created a 3-tiered branding system: Red Feather (low-budget programmers), Bluebird (mainstream releases) and Jewel (prestige productions). Jewels were often given special promotion as limited engagements, commanding higher roadshow ticket prices. Universal would cease to brand its feature films after 1929. See more »

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User Reviews

Nice fragments made me want to see the rest.
29 December 2004 | by F Gwynplaine MacIntyreSee all my reviews

I viewed a nitrate print of 'The Acquittal' that had a couple of reels missing, including the final reel. This story is a whodunnit, and it seems to be a pretty good one. Unfortunately, I don't know how it ends, nor do I know the identity of the culprit.

Wealthy Andrew Prentice has two adopted sons, who are not related to each other: Kenneth Winthrop and Robert Armstrong. (Shouldn't he be chasing King Kong?) The foster sons have grown to adulthood, and Kenneth is married to Madeline Ames. I think that's correct, although I don't know why the wife and husband have different surnames. Some of the intertitles in this print were very difficult to read, due to the deterioration of the nitrate film stock.

One day the butler and maid discover Prentice murdered in his bedroom. Winthrop is charged with the crime, brought to trial and acquitted. But then who did it? For some reason, it falls to Madeline (rather than the police) to find the killer.

There's some interesting camera work here. In several shots, a fairly ordinary object -- a butcher's scale, an open window -- is given just a bit too much emphasis, in a manner which makes it clear that these are visual clues to the solution of the murder. Due to portions of this movie being missing or too far deteriorated to view, I couldn't follow the story ... but what I did see was gripping enough to make me feel that this *was* a very well-told and interesting story in the film's original state. Barbara Bedford is attractive in a supporting role. I shan't rate this film, as I've only seen pieces of it.

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