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Films >> Lindbergh Kidnapping Case, The (1976) >>

0:00:11 The Hero
File footage of the Spirit of St. Louis and Charles Lindbergh before during and after the historic flight Music: Lindbergh (flying fool???)
0:02:12 The Crime
Hopewell NJ on the night of the kidnapping. Anne is drawing bath and preparing for bed.
0:03:50 Missing
Betty Gow enters the baby's room and discovers the child missing. Betty returns to Anne's room and questions the whereabouts of the baby. Betty Gow then enters the study and asks Charles if he has the baby.
0:05:06 Tragedy Realized
Anne is already in the baby's room and Lindbergh enters. They spot the letter near the window and tell Betty to have the butler to call the police. Lindbergh admonishes Anne not to touch anything in the room.
0:06:24 Clues
The police arrive at Hopewell. The police set up a command post in the garage on the Hopewell estate. The police find the ladder and footprints.
0:08:24 The First Letter
Chief Harry Wolfe meets H. Norman Schwarzkopf, head of the New Jersey State Police. HNS opens the letter and gives the ransom note to Lindbergh to read.
0:09:36 Barbarians at the Gate
The press arrives at Hopewell and swarms the grounds. A police officer finds the chisel and a reporter climbs the ladder. Reporter looks in the upstairs window at Lindbergh and HNS. HNS pulls him in, and the reporter is dragged out of the child's room. The reporter spreads rumors that the servants are involved.
0:10:14 Vultures Circling
Outside the Lindbergh home, reporters are swarming over the grounds and trying to get any information, by any means.
0:10:49 Questioning Begins
The questioning of Betty Gow begins.
0:11:14 The News Hits
Dr. Condon is sitting with some of his students in a restaurant in the Bronx talking about politics. News of the kidnapping arrives by newspaper. Condon expresses his admiration of Lindbergh and his extreme sorrow over the kidnapping. The students do not share his sympathies.
0:12:45 Expert Opinions
Police (Dawson and Dr. Schoenfeld) are examining the tapes of a ticker tape parade looking for anyone who might fit the profile of the kidnapper. Dr. S believes that the kidnapper has no connection to the mob but kidnapped the child because he (the kidnapper) feels unnoticed and unappreciated.
0:15:00 The Mother Speaks
Inside the home the Lindberghs are making a plea to the kidnappers to keep their child in good health. Anne tells the reporters what kind of food he needs. Both parents are very calm and collected.
0:16:01 The Letters
Lindbergh garage. Police are going through all the volumes of letters, many of which are from cranks and frauds. They find a letter with the same signature as the original ransom note. Switch to Lindbergh bedroom as Charles explains to Anne that they have found a match. Both Lindbergh and Anne are characterized as hopeful.
0:16:58 A Concerned Citizen
Headline of newspaper as Dr. Condon examines the paper at dinner with his daughter. Condon reads a letter he has written offering to act as go-between. He has sent it to The Bronx Home News. His daughter is not thrilled.
0:18:08 The Butler Did it?
See the Lindbergh estate with dogs and security patrolling the area. The butler is being questioned about the failure of the dog to bark.
0:18:38 The Crime is Re-enacted
Mr. Kaylor (?) of the forestry service is there to re-enact the part of the crime that has to do with the ladder. There are the first indications of the rivalry between the NJ State Police and the NYPD. Meanwhile, Kaylor is reenacting the crime. While this is going on, the scene switches to the inside. Anne is awake and in bed. As they climb the ladder, Anne leaves her room and goes to the baby's room. She sees the re-enactor who trips and falls as he runs away. She cries and runs back to her room. Re-enactor drops the ladder and the "the baby."
0:21:11 The Quackathon Begins
March 8, 1932. Lindbergh is in the study and a Mr. Phelps is brought to see Lindbergh. He is the first of many quacks. He has a sketch of The Spirit and the child's face that he wants to sell to raise the ransom. Lindbergh has him thrown out.
0:22:49 The Signature
March 9. 1932. Lindbergh's garage. Dr. Condon's phone call comes in and HNS takes the call. He gets his biographic information. HNS asks if Lindbergh wants to talk to Condon. Lindbergh is at dinner. Condon explains that he has gotten a letter that he believes is from the kidnappers. He tells that there is letter addressed to CAL. The letter has the same signature as the first. Condon finally tells of the signature. Now he has Lindbergh's attention.
0:26:25 Rivalries
Lindbergh is in New York showing Dawson a copy of the letter. There is difficulty because NYPD believes that HNS is playing this for glory and running the investigation through the newspaper. Lindbergh explains that they have accepted the services of a go-between, Condon. They discuss the recording of serial numbers for the ransom. Curtis is another claimant. He says he is in contact with the kidnappers. Lindbergh suggests that the notoriety of the police is more important that the recovery of the child.
0:29:07 Possibilities
Lindbergh house. Reporters accost Charles as he attempts to enter the house. Lindbergh reprimands the press for the first time. HNS discusses his visit to Lindbergh's mother-in-law's house. HNS says that the maid, Violet Sharpe, has no reasonable alibi for the night of the kidnapping. A call comes from Condon. He has received a package containing the sleeping garment, and Lindbergh proposes to sneak away to meet with Condon and identify the sleeping garment. Lindbergh goes in disguise to see Dr. Condon. Lindbergh identifies the sleeping suit and opens the letter with instructions from the kidnapper(s).
0:33:30 Hysteria
The Morrow home, Englewood, NJ. The maid, Violet Sharpe, is being interviewed. She is less than cooperative. They question why her sister Emily sailed for England the day of the kidnapping. She screams and, crying, runs upstairs.
0:36:08 The Encounter
At the Cemetery. Lindbergh gives Condon a toy belonging to the child and instructions that the boy will be able to identify it. Condon enters the cemetery. "John" calls out to the doctor, and Lindbergh reacts to the voice. "John" asks for the money but runs when he sees the cemetery guard with a flashlight. Condon follows him deeper into the cemetery. "John" wants to know what would happen if the baby were dead, then says the child is alive. Condon negotiates with "John" for $50,000 instead of $70,000. "John" is able to identify the pins that held the baby's blanket in the crib. Condon goes back for the money. Condon advises Lindbergh against making the transfer without the baby, but Lindbergh wants to give the money anyway. "John" takes the money and gives Condon a note allegedly with the location of the baby.
0:41:21 Disappointments
Lindbergh and Condon are in a plane flying over the site where the boat with the baby is supposed to be. There is nothing there.
0:42:44 "JAFSIE" Unmasked
Presses are rolling. Advertisement from "J" to "John." He asks what the problem is. The press then accosts Condon.
0:43:44 Another "Lead"
At the police station, Lindbergh meets with Curtis who says he met with someone in Newark and saw some of the ransom money. He says that he will meet with the kidnapper at the Prince George Hotel. Lindbergh agrees to meet him there, but the police do not believe him. The psychiatrist (Dr. S) argues that he believes that "John" is the sole kidnapper since he reduced the ransom on his own.
0:45:40 Searching
Lindbergh is on the coast guard cutter with Curtis, who has promised a rendezvous with the kidnappers off the coast of NJ. It is May 11, 1932. They spot a fishing boat called the Valorous, but nothing else.
0:47:41 Square Nails
Back in the garage command center. They are discussing the physical evidence of four square nails. HNS reveals that he is low on manpower.
0:48:33 The Eagle Alone
Back on the Coast Guard ship. It is May 12, 1932. Lindbergh is given the radio message that the baby has been found and is dead. Lindbergh stands alone at the rail.
0:49:28 The Gawkers Arrive
Scene of the baby's grave. It is a forensic nightmare with the press and townspeople wanting to look. The morbid curiosity of the event is evident.
0:49:56 The Defining Moment
At the morgue Lindbergh is brought in to identify the baby's remains. For the first time, Lindbergh is seen to break down a little. The press is waiting for him outside and immediately attacks him as he exits the exam room. Lindbergh is ushered out through a back door.
0:51:09 Money, Money, Everywhere
New York City police, November 26, 1933. Dr. Schoenfeld is talking. They have evidence of ransom money from Manhatten to the Bronx. This is the first time that the NYC police and the psychiatrist get to see the original ransom notes. HNS has finally decided that he is unlikely to find the kidnapper and has finally turned his evidence over to NYPD. Dr. Schoenfeld suggests that they go after him outside his home so he will have no opportunity to destroy the evidence.
0:52:49 Some Truth
The Lindbergh's are at Hopewell house and are getting ready to move. Anne is pregnant. HNS is helping with the move. Curtis comes to admit that he made everything up. Lindbergh walks out.
0:54:59 The Price of Compassion
Dr. Condon's house where the press are still hounding him. He is getting hundreds of letters a day: cranks, accusations, and threats.
0:55:57 A Dead End
Violet Sharpe and her boyfriend, the Morrow's butler Octavius, are at the Morrow house. She is upset. The police want to question her again. She was out with another man the night of the kidnapping. She does not want to tell the police who the man is despite Octavius' suggestion that she do so. The police plan to record her testimony and want to take her to the police station. She runs screaming upstairs, refusing to comply. Octavius goes upstairs. Violet had taken poison and dies in his arms.
0:57:45 Condon Questioned
Condon is being questioned by HNS. They question him about Violet and question Condon's relationship to "John," suggesting he is involved with the kidnapping.
0:59:02 A Plea to the Press
At the Lindbergh's new home. The papers are waiting for the birth of their child, and the press acts as if the Lindbergh's lives are only for the press. Lindbergh announces the birth of his new son, no name yet. Lindbergh asks for privacy and says that he feels the publicity contributed to the kidnapping and death of their first child.
0:59:53 A Possible Suspect
The police have picked up another piece of ransom money. They folds in the bills were like the others that they had gotten before. Dawson accuses the bank tellers of being lax in observing the numbered bills.
1:00:41 The License Plate
Bronx, September 15, 1943. The NYPD are at a gas station. They question the gas station attendant who says that he wrote the license number of the customer who passed the gold certificate. He describes the customer as having a German accent and being cocky. The police track the plate and find the address.
1:02:27 Tracking the Fiend
Stake out of the Hauptmann house. It is night. There are two cars and four policemen. It turns morning. They await his exit. Hauptmann opens the garage, and they follow him. A truck causes a jam. The police apprehend Hauptmann on the street.
1:06:05 The House of Cards
The police are searching the house and tearing through the garage. Hauptmann is present, as is his wife, Anna, and their baby son. The neighbors are standing around watching. Police try to get Hauptmann to confess. They find $14,000 in the garage. The garage collapses.
1:07:39 The Line Up
Condon is in the room and the members of the line-up are asked to speak. Condon is hesitant to make identification. The garage attendant, Mr. Lyle comes in. He identifies Hauptmann immediately. Lindbergh arrives with HNS. He listens to the voice outside the room. Lindbergh identifies him. In this scene there is only one in the line-up who has a German accent. Lindbergh asks to see him. Hauptmann is brought to the outer room.
1:11:26 The Trial
This section starts The Trial. Hauptmann is in his cell acting quite peculiar. It is November 14, 1934. Hauptmann finds out that the new governor of NJ is a friend of Lindbergh.
1:12:15 Politics
The governor is in his office and is talking to the Attorney General, Wilentz, about his connections. It is November 21, 1934. Wilentz announces that he intends to prosecute the Lindbergh case himself. There is some banter after Wilentz leaves about his Democratic affiliation.
1:14:16 Commercialization of the Crime
Flemington, January 2, 1935. The streets are filled with souvenir hawkers and gawkers. Dr. Condon is now treated as a hero. Lindbergh arrives with police escort. The crowd engulfs the car. Anne is with Lindbergh. As they near the courthouse doors, a woman with a pair of scissors comes up to Lindbergh and clips off a coat button, then declares her prize. Hauptmann is seen alone in his cell. Inside the courthouse the radio press is broadcasting from the Men's Room.
1:17:43 Opening Statements
Wilentz is making his opening statement. He demands the death penalty if they find Hauptman guilty. Reilly makes a weak opening statement.
1:20:20 Moment by Moment
Shows the moments by moment broadcasts of the proceedings. Anne is on the stand. Wilentz is questioning Anne. Reilly does not cross, out of sympathy for her. She leaves the stand without ceremony. Return to radio broadcast of Anne's testimony. It exaggerates her emotional distress.
1:23:51 The Hero Speaks
Lindbergh is on the stand, and Wilentz questions him. Reilly and Wilentz argue about the testimony, which details the security measures that Lindbergh has taken at the Englewood home. Reilly tries to suggest that Lindbergh had made enemies around Hopewell. He questions Lindbergh's practice of hiring foreign help.
1:27:47 A Festical Atmosphere
Outside the courthouse the scene reinforces the carnival atmosphere. The crowds are aggressive and disorderly. The people are depicted as the lower half of society.
1:28:35 Socializing
Union Hotel in Flemington. Reilly has a drink in one hand, and he talks to crowd, which includes press.
1:28:57 Unprepared
Reilly is back in court. He is questioning Betty Gow and her family background. HNS provides a deposition that Gow's brothers had never left Scotland, so Reilly's accusation looks sloppy. Reilly has used statements that have not been verified. Reilly questions a witness who says that he saw Hauptmann with a ladder in his car.
1:32:34 Taking the Stand
January 7, 1935. Condon's testimony begins. He testifies regarding the details of the exchange of money. This is the first time that Condon identifies Hauptmann as "John." Reilly begins his questioning of Condon. Reilly tries to discount Condon's courtroom identification of Hauptmann by arguing that he had not said Hauptmann was "John" at the NYC police station.
1:36:32 Embraced Fame
The press envelops Condon after his testimony. In stark contrast to Lindbergh who avoids the press completely, Condon embraces the notoriety.
1:37:10 Vices
Reilly doing a meet and greet with the press at the hotel bar. He has several "lady friends."
1:37:24 Not Again!
January 10, 1935. At the Morrow home Lindbergh has just received a threatening letter against Jon Lindbergh. He doesn't want Anne to know. He is on the phone with the NJ State Police.
1:37:50 The Writing on the Wall
The handwriting expert, Mr. Osborne, is testifying. The ransom note is being compared to Hauptmann's writing. Reilly questions him about the differences in the numbers. He tries to suggest that any German immigrant might have written the ransom letter.
1:40:16 Prejudice
In his cell Hauptmann is talking to the guard. Hauptmann talks about hunting, making an analogy between him and the animals. He also comments about anti-German sentiment.
1:41:43 More Politics
January 15, 1935. It is the governor's office. They are talking about the political implications of Wilentz (who is a Democrat) getting so much publicity. The governor is a Republican
1:41:45 A Father's Protection
Englewood NJ. Lindbergh and Jon are playing outside on the grounds. Anne admits to Lindbergh that she found the threatening letter. Lindbergh acknowledges that they may have to move. Shows the changes in his personality from public persona to private.
1:43:37 A Perfect Match
The Forestry Officer offers expert testimony about the wood from the ladder found on the grounds. He says he found a joist in the defendant's attic that matches the wood. The nail holes, which are made from cut nails, are identified as identical, and the wood from the ladder was part of wood from the joist.
1:47:03 Solidarity
Pro-Nazi rally, somewhere in America. They are taking donations for Hauptmann. The script is in German.
1:47:33 Lies?
January 28, 1935. Hauptmann takes the stand. Hauptmann appears relaxed. He details his life including a minor offense for which he was imprisoned in Germany.
1:50:31 Support
In the jailhouse in Flemington Hauptmann has received money for his defense fund. Hauptmann believes that the German community thinks he is innocent. The guard says that they probably just want his autograph on the check. Hauptmann says that the value of the autograph will go up if he is dead.
1:51:28 Exposed
Reilly is questioning Hauptmann about Isidor Fisch, who had returned to Germany and recently died. Hauptmann then explains the evidence found in his possession. Hauptmann denies that he wrote the notes, built the ladder, or received the ransom money. Hauptmann testifies that the police beat him. Hauptmann says the police told him how to spell certain words when writing his handwriting sample. Wilentz then takes over the cross. He demonstrates that Hauptmann lied about his convictions in Germany. Hauptmann was convicted of breaking into a second story window and also holding up two women wheeling baby carriages while armed with a gun.
1:58:48 An Opportunity to Campaign
The governor is talking on the radio. The studio is still in the men's room.
1:59:20 The Evidence Piles
January 31, 1935. Picks up the cross with Wilentz. Hauptmann's financial accounts show a loss. His change of luck coincides with the payment of the ransom. Wilentz finally gets Hauptmann to admit that he lied about his convictions.
2:04:32 Not Safe Anywhere
Reilly is out at another cocktail party at the Hotel. Lindbergh and Wilentz arrive at the same restaurant. A reporter in the restaurant accosts them as they order.
2:05:49 Frustration
Hauptmann is in the cell, February 4, 1935. The surroundings look increasingly bleak. Hauptmann is disenchanted with his defense.
2:06:14 An Alibi?
The courtroom. Wilentz questions a man with three aliases who claims to have seen Hauptmann in the park. Denotes a series of non-credible witnesses from the defense.
2:06:52 Disillusionment
In his jail cell Hauptmann talks to the second chair. Hauptmann says he wouldn't believe any of the witnesses that Reilly produced. The second chair seems helpless.
2:07:22 The Finale
The courthouse February 12, 1935, closing arguments.
2:09:44 The "Other" Father
In Hauptmann's cell, Dave, the jailer, announces that his wife and child are there to visit. Hauptmann's son cries.
2:10:13 The Jury Goes to Work
Outside the courthouse the crowd is thick. Inside the courthouse, the judge is making a charge to the jury. He explains that the jury must include life imprisonment as part of the verdict if they find Hauptmann guilty and do not wish the death penalty to be imposed. Lindbergh leaves before the charge is finished.
2:10:49 Justice?
The mob outside is chanting, "Kill Hauptmann." Dave, the guard, and Hauptmann are inside playing cards and waiting for the verdict. The bell tolls in the background, and we move to the courthouse again. The verdict is rendered. Anna Hauptmann screams as the guilty verdict is read. The rejoicing outside mirrors the rejoicing inside. The judge delivers the sentence. The reporters rush from the courtroom and the crowd celebrates.
2:14:02 Death
Lindbergh and Anne are notified of the verdict. He tells her with one word. Death. The next morning Anne sends their son Jon from the residence with the nanny. The press waylays the car. It appears to be another attack. Photo is in the paper. Lindbergh calls the press Barbarians.
2:15:55 Reprieve
October 15, 1935. Hauptmann is reprieved from execution. The governor decides that it was a political mistake. The case is before the Supreme Court for a ruling. The governor says that he thinks Hauptmann was involved but not alone. He wants Hauptmann alive until the case is solved.
2:17:47 The Eagle Flies
December 23, 1935. Somewhere in Middle America a couple listens to the radio. The departure of Lindbergh for England is announced. The radio editorializes on the departure, and it seems to be the end of an era. Condon address to the press echoes the same sentiment.
2:18:51 Out of Time
April 2, 1936. The Death house in Trenton State Prison. Hauptmann is told there are no more appeals left. His lawyer wants Hauptmann to save himself by telling the whole story. Hauptmann maintains his innocence.
2:20:08 Giving Up
In the NJ Governor's office. Dr. Schoenfeld appeals to the governor to try another reprieve. The governor says he cannot stop the process again. Schoenfeld suggests that the crime will never be solved, and that Hauptmann will take the answers to his grave.
2:21:33 The Truth Dies
The prison, April 3, 1936. The crowds are gathered outside, noisy and disorderly as before. The reporters express the same overriding concern with meeting their deadline, with Hauptmann's death as they did with the birth of Lindbergh's second son. Inside the witnesses are ready for the execution. The alarm sounds and the guard announces to the crowd that Hauptmann is dead. There is a baby crying in the background.
2:24:25 Closure?
April 4, 1936, England. Lindbergh and Anne are at breakfast. He receives the call that Hauptmann has been executed.
2:25:00 The End
Rolling credits including a dedication to Leonard Horn. There is no credit given for the script or source.