William Powell plays William Foster, a slick attorney who stays within the law, but specializes in representing crooks and shady characters. He's adept at keeping them out of jail, winning ... See full summary »
William Powell plays William Foster, a slick attorney who stays within the law, but specializes in representing crooks and shady characters. He's adept at keeping them out of jail, winning acquittals, and having decisions reversed, thus springing criminals out of prison. He is romantically involved with dancer Irene Manners (Kay Francis), who is two-timing him, although she wants to marry him. She kills a man driving while out with her other man, Jack Defoe (Scott Kolk), who takes the blame. Unfortunately, a ring Foster had just given Irene is found at the crime scene. Foster ends up defending Jack, but when the ring is found, he thinks he is protecting Irene, so pleads guilty to jury tampering, which he had done for the first time to save Irene. After his plea, the the prosecuting DA confides that Jack would have gotten off... Written by
A most entertaining Paramount Picture in which William Powell enacts what was to become a common-place role as a fast-talking lawyer (based on real-life William Fallon), but handles the part with such verve and charisma it still fascinates today.
Cromwell's strikingly forceful direction helps no end, as does the superb acting of Kay Francis in a difficult study of a woman torn between two lovesa role which she handles to perfection. An excellent support cast includes fine studies by William B. Davidson (in his best role ever) and comedian James Finlayson (minus his trademark mustache) in a rare, dramatic part.
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