The People V. Leo Frank

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Movie Info

Writer/director Ben Loeterman draws on historical record to pen this semi-documentary about a Jewish engineer who became the tragic victim of mob justice after being accused of murdering an Atlanta child worker in 1913. When the body of thirteen year old Mary Phagan was discovered in the cellar of the National Pencil Company, suspicions quickly fell upon the manager of the factory, Leo Frank. After a speedy trial filled with inconsistencies and fueled by racial discrimination, Frank was given the death sentence. But this was far from the end of the story; concluding that the conviction was unjust after Frank's lawyers fought it straight to the Supreme Court, Georgia Governor John Slaton inadvertently sealed the fate of the accused by commuting his sentence to life in prison. Enraged, a group of 25 vigilantes who dubbed themselves "The Knights of Mary Phagan" kidnapped Frank from his cell at the state penitentiary, and hung him from a tree near his alleged victim's childhood home. Neither the guards at the prison nor the warden offered any resistance to the murderous mob. It was the first and only known lynching of a Jewish man on American soil.

Cast

Will Janowitz
as Leo Frank
Seth Gilliam
as Jim Conley

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