Idealistic attorney Anton Adam makes headlines when he successfully prosecutes a prominent New York racketeer named Gilmurry. Adam's sudden renown attracts the attention of high-profile ... See full summary »
A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment ... See full summary »
Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Helen Jerome Eddy
Lil works for the Legendre Company and causes Bill to divorce Irene and marry her. She has an affair with businessman Gaerste and uses him to force society to pay attention to her. She has ... See full summary »
Torch singer Joan Gordon, tiring of her relationship with small-time hood and racketeer Eddie Fields, flees to Montreal and becomes the mail-order bride of down-to-earth farmer Jim Gilson. ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
At the wedding of Albert and Anna, Karl, the new chauffeur, arrives. Albert is the head butler, second generation to the Baron. Karl soon seems out of place as a servant, and Albert tells ... See full summary »
Idealistic attorney Anton Adam makes headlines when he successfully prosecutes a prominent New York racketeer named Gilmurry. Adam's sudden renown attracts the attention of high-profile legal eagle Granville Bentley, who asks Adam to become a partner in his law firm. But Adam's rising career takes a nosedive when he's framed by Gilmurry and a sexy actress in a trumped-up breach of promise suit. The only constant in Adam's life is the loyalty and unrequited love of his secretary Olga. Written by
A Pre-Code movie that would be G-rated by today's standards, "Lawyer Man" is entertaining and good fun but should be billed as a drama/comedy, if you can imagine such. It moves very quickly as its star, William Powell, goes from honest, hard-working lawyer to shyster and back in 72 easy minutes. The problem is that, apart from Powell, all the other characters are two-dimensional, and are seemingly there for Powell to bounce lines off. David Landau, especially, was criminally wasted (no pun intended) as the 'big boss' and king-maker. Despite his role, he was likable while enduring endless insults from Powell. Most men in his position probably would have had Powell 'rubbed out' early on.
That said, there is a lot to like in this picture. First off, there is Powell himself, elegant and dapper while miscast as a lower East Side lawyer representing lower class shlubs. There is also Joan Blondell, in her customary role as the torch-bearing secretary overlooked by Powell. There is Alan Dinehart, an excellent 30's character actor with a part that was too small for his talent. Despite the seriousness of the plot, much of it is played for laughs. In one amusing scene, two hit men turn soft in a goofy confrontation with Powell. Throw in some laughs via Blondell wise cracks, and you have a basically good-natured movie which I would rate a seven.
P.S. Do you like old standards? This picture has some of the best you can hear nowadays on the soundtrack, played in the background by a 30's band.
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