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Attorney for the Defense (1932)

Approved | | Drama | 21 May 1932 (USA)
An ambitious lawyer uses circumstantial evidence to help convict an innocent man then tries to make amends with his family.



(story) (as J.K. McGuinness), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Val Lorraine
Ruth Barry
Don Dillaway ...
Paul Wallace (as Donald Dillaway)
Douglas Haig ...
Paul Wallace
Dorothy Peterson ...
Mrs. Wallace
Nick Quinn
Wallis Clark ...


An ambitious lawyer uses circumstantial evidence to help convict an innocent man then tries to make amends with his family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 May 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Advogado de Defesa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

18 and Out
18 September 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** Being the 18th man to be sent directly to the Sing Sing electric chair James Wallace, Dwight Frye, makes a ruckus at his trial sentencing accusing the local D.A William "Hot Seat" Burton, Edmund Lowe, of railroading him like the other 17 men prosecuted by him just to get publicity in order to get himself elected in his upcoming race against Governorn F.D Roosevelt for governor of the Empire State of New York. This big victory on "Hot Seat's" part soon falls apart after Wallace's execution that the murder that he was zapped or executed for was admitted in a death bed confession, in knowing that he's got nothing to lose anyway, by the real murderer as he was about to check out for good!

In Burton trying to repent for sending an innocent man James Wallace as well as who knows how many more to the electric chair he takes it upon himself to pay for the late James Wallace's son Paul's, Don Dillaway, collage tuition in order to make up for what he did to his dad. Paul being both young and in love as well as a bit stupid falls head over heels for the two timing gold digger Val Lorraine,Evelyn Brent, who was a former old flame of Burton. It's Lorraine who uses the poor and love sick sop to steal a number of document from Burton's office safe in order to blackmail him that can have him disbarred. That in him stealing cash or chump change from his clients; That they probably didn't miss anyway.

***SPOILERS*** The rub in all this is that after Paul found out what Larraine was up to and how she played him, her lover, for a sucker he got gloriously drunk and passed out in her apartment only to find her dead when he finally, after about 5 hours, came to. In pops "Hot Seat" Burton who to save Paul's drunk and sorry a** from getting burned takes responsibly for Lorraine's murder, or so were made to believe, and is set to got on trial for it in order to prove his, Burton's, innocence. Using all the skills of a shyster or lawyer Burton draws out the true killer of Lorraine by playing the fool and letting the prosecution make him look, with him helping out, like a complete idiot on the witness stand. The link that prove's that the person who murdered Lorainne wasn't him is a bruise she had on her neck that was the results of a ring that her killer wore. Which Burton used to punch out one of the members of the audience with to prove his case!

P.S With all that now behind him Burton finally proposes to his long time and suffering private secretary Ruth Barry, Constance Commings,who put up with all his BS all these years and waited for him to finally pop the question. That's before he drops dead, he's some 15 years older then her, or is killed by one of his outraged clients or or one of those, after being released from prison, innocent men that he sent up the river.

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