MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 41,820 this week

The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929)

 -  Drama  -  8 June 1929 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 81 users  
Reviews: 3 user

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 »

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 224 titles
created 27 Sep 2012
 
a list of 294 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929)

The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Trial of Mary Dugan.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Escape (1940)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

1938: A young man arrives in Hitler's Germany, frantically seeking information about his German mother, and finds she is pending execution at a concentration camp.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Conrad Veidt
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of disparate travelers are caught are thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the start of WWII.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Edward Arnold
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A wealthy woman, trying to discourage a former boyfriend from pursuing her, hires a young songwriter who needs money to pay off his gambling debts to pretend to be her boyfriend. The ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, George Sanders
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two titled aristocrats support themselves by being professional house guests in the homes of star-struck American nouveau riche.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Melvyn Douglas, Gail Patrick
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An all-star revue featuring MGM contract players.

Director: Charles Reisner
Stars: Conrad Nagel, Jack Benny, John Gilbert
Coquette (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A flirtatious southern belle is compromised with one of her beaus.

Director: Sam Taylor
Stars: Mary Pickford, Johnny Mack Brown, Matt Moore
The Royal Bed (1931)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The hapless king of a small European nation must put up with a domineering queen, a daughter who wants to elope with her boyfriend, a peasant revolt and a scheming son who wants to be king ... See full summary »

Director: Lowell Sherman
Stars: Lowell Sherman, Mary Astor, Anthony Bushell
Anna Christie (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

"Talkie" remake of Tod Browning's 1925 silent film. A trio of former sideshow performers double as the "Unholy Three" in a scam to nab some shiny rocks.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Lon Chaney, Lila Lee, Elliott Nugent
The Pay-Off (1930)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A thug robs a young engaged couple of their last few dollars. When the thug's gang boss hears of the robbery, he gives them back their money and takes them under his wing. The thug, ... See full summary »

Director: Lowell Sherman
Stars: Lowell Sherman, Marian Nixon, Hugh Trevor
Way Down East (1920)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
Untamed (1929)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

When her rich oilman father is killed, Bingo, raised in the wilds of South America, inherits the company. Her guardians Ben and Howard send her to New York for civilizing but on the way she... See full summary »

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery, Ernest Torrence
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mary Elizabeth Dugan
...
Edward West
...
District Attorney Galway
Raymond Hackett ...
Jimmy Dugan
...
Dagmar Lorne
Olive Tell ...
Mrs. Gertrude Rice
Adrienne D'Ambricourt ...
Marie Ducrot
DeWitt Jennings ...
Inspector Hunt
Wilfrid North ...
Judge Nash
Landers Stevens ...
Dr. Welcome
...
Pauline Agguerro
Westcott Clarke ...
Captain Price
Charles R. Moore ...
James Madison (as Charles Moore)
Claud Allister ...
Henry James Plaisted
Myra Hampton ...
May Harris
Edit

Storyline

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 <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 June 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Julgamento de Mary Dugan  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Version of The Trial of Mary Dugan (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Disorder in the Court
4 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is certainly worth seeking out for the fan of the early talkie. It was Norma Shearer's first talking picture, and she still has a thing or two to learn about acting in the age of sound film at this point, but she still pulls off an admirable performance. However, at first you wonder if she is ever going to speak at all.

The camera is still nailed down at this early point in talking film - early 1929. Thus the film consists of just a few static scenes, with about 90% of the film taking place in the courtroom at Mary's trial. Mary Dugan (Norma Shearer) has been found by the police at the side of her dead lover. He has a knife sticking out of his back, and she is covered in blood. The dead man is wealthy and married, and Mary is a "fallen woman". She is thus assumed guilty of the crime and put on trial for her life. Lewis Stone is her attorney, and H.B. Warner is the prosecuting attorney. Early in the film, Mary's brother (Raymond Hackett) bursts into the courtroom and objects to how Mary's attorney is conducting the defense and requests that the judge allow him to take over. He is, as luck would have it, an attorney himself. How the mystery unravels of who did kill Mary's lover is quite interesting, although there are a few glaring hints throughout the film. At one point the guilty party says something that practically paints a sign on himself/herself (I'm not telling you which!) that says "I did it!". Even if you figure out who did it, you'll want to watch to the end to figure out exactly why and how.

Getting back to Norma Shearer, her chance to speak extensively before the camera comes when she is put on the witness stand, never a particularly good idea if you are actually a defendant, since any attorney ( a good one) will tell you that the object of the criminal defense is to prevent the state from making their case, not to give them openings for making you look guilty. However, her testimony largely turns into a soliloquy that is fairly effective and shows the beginnings of what will be much better acting in such films as "The Divorcée" and "A Free Soul". She overacts some, and does come close to chewing scenery, but in the end resists the urge. Raymond Hackett, whose film acting career would last only a couple of years more, gives a fine performance as Mary's brother and second defense attorney.

What has always made me a fan of the early talkies is their experimental nature, the fact that everyone seemed to forget how to talk and behave naturally even though this is what people did whenever the cameras weren't running, and that everything becomes subservient to the tyranny of the microphone. This film is no exception. For example, there are a number of witnesses who seem to be given an opportunity to testify for no other reason than to launch a mini-vaudeville act without the pesky movement that was so troublesome to deal with in early talking film - Lilyan Tashman's turn on the stand being particularly amusing. When one witness says something unintentionally humorous one trial attendee bursts out laughing for a full five seconds before everyone else in the room joins in. One can only wonder what the purpose of this awkward silence was. And then there is the judge. He largely just sits there while the D.A and defense attorney stand next to each other smirking and making jabbing remarks like a couple of fans of rival football teams. Only when an attorney makes a formal objection does the judge reluctantly take charge.

Note that this film is largely precode, since although Mary has lived the life of a fallen woman, she is allowed a happy ending. After the Breen era of the motion picture code begins in 1934, if such a film as this were allowed to be made and exhibited in the first place, it would have to end with a meteor landing on Mary and thus show her paying for her sins, or some other such nonsense.

And now this American peasant must take her leave since all this talk of trials has made me hungry for a TV dinner and some Court TV.


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Any chance of seeing it? lottenkalenius-1
Discuss The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?