Mary Dugan, a Broadway showgirl, is charged with murder in the knifing death of her wealthy lover, and goes on trial for her life. When her defense counsel appears to bungle his job, Mary's... See full summary »
Elyot and Sibyl are being married in a big church ceremony. Amanda and Victor are being married by a French Justice of the Peace. Both couples go to a hotel on the same day and are put in ... See full summary »
Maggie, a headlining comedienne with the Follies, takes a fall off the stage into the orchestra pit and lands on the drum of musician Al Cassidy. One thing leads to another, they fall in ... See full summary »
Lisbeth is a modern woman who thinks that marriage is old fashioned. She has two men in her life; Steve, who wants to marry her and Alan, who wants her to travel with him. Despite all the ... See full summary »
A young girl visits her grandfather, who owns an auto repair shop. She falls in love with his handsome assistant, who is also an engineer trying to talk the town banker into financing his ... See full summary »
Alec B. Francis
Mary Dugan, a Broadway showgirl, is charged with murder in the knifing death of her wealthy lover, and goes on trial for her life. When her defense counsel appears to bungle his job, Mary's brother Jimmy, a newly licensed attorney, jumps into the case to defend his sister. Jimmy's courtroom style is unconventional, but he seems to be holding his own against the prosecuting attorney... until a surprise testimony changes the course of the trial. Written by
Dan Navarro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Great Piece of Theatre, Expertly Transferred to the Screen!
M-G-M's second "all talking picture" ("Broadway Melody" was number one) is set entirely in a court room, except for a brief prologue at the murder scene. In the rather clever hands of director/writer Bayard Veiller, this device (carried over from his stage play) concentrates our interest and attention, rather than dissipating it. Of course, the electricity is sparked not only in the attention-grabbing twists and turns of the brilliantly constructed plot itself but in the ruthless thrust and parry of witness examination, especially when these verbal shocks and barbs are delivered by such skillful players as H.B. Warner and Lewis Stone. The big surprise, however, is that boyish Raymond Hackett (who left movies altogether in 1931 to concentrate on stage work) and Norma Shearer (making her talkie debut) deliver such powerful performances. A little stagy, it's true, but nonetheless effective. A particularly well-chosen roster of support players also adds to the tension.
Production values are high, although some viewers might find the stop-and-start, state-of-the-art sound recording a little distracting.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?