Courtesy of Film 4 I watched an early (1947) Elia Kazan film called Boomerang. It had a stellar cast including Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt, Arthur Kennedy, Ed Begley, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, and Sam Levene.
Based on a true story and filmed on location in a documentary style, I thought it just great. It had one Oscar nomination for best screenplay, but how much better it was than most of the stuff we get served up today. No sex, no swearing, no innuendo, a soundtrack that let you hear every word, no intrusive music; the black and white photography was sharp and the story was important.
It showed the danger of trying to get a confession by torture. This was just sleep deprivation, not brutality. Sleep deprivation was supposed to have been introduced by the Chinese in the Korean war, but clearly was being used in New England police stations before that. It showed the unreliability of eye-witness evidence and the danger of newspaper headlines in putting pressure on politicians. It showed the risks of public officials being subject to local elections and that even those elected on a whiter-than-white platform are corruptible.
Without Film 4 I would have had to pay £42 to buy the DVD! Thank you Film on 4.