7.1/10
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Night Court (1932)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 4 June 1932 (USA)
Judge and his mistress are investigated on suspicions of corruption.

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(by), (by) (as Lenore Coffee) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Judge William Osgood
...
...
Crawford
...
Herman - the Janitor
...
Grogan
...
Lil Baker
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Storyline

Judge Moffett is as crooked as they come and the Board of Judicial Corruption is after him. He sends his mistress, Lil Baker, away to prevent her from being subpoenaed to testify against him. While living in hiding Lil befriends a neighbor Mary Thomas. During a visit at Mary's apartment next door Lil accidentally drops Moffett's bankbook from her purse (showing a high balance for 1932 of $60,000). When Mary finds it she realizes it belongs to Lil and returns it. Moffett realizes Mary must have read the contents and is concerned she will share the details about the bankbook so he finagles a scheme that brings her to his court on a trumped up charge. To keep her quiet the judge sends her to prison for six months. Mike, Mary's husband, is overcome with grief; when he comes to his senses, he talks to Mary who tells him about the book. This gets Mike beat up and put on a boat to South America, but he jumps ship and plots his revenge. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Its Frankness Will Thrill You---Its Truth Hold You Breathless---


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

4 June 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bekänn!  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, we see Judge Moffett's office door. His door has "Judges' Chambers" printed on it, while it should read "Judge's Chambers" as it is his private office, and not shared by other judges. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Madigan: This Judge Moffett is a pretty gay bird. He's keeping a girl by the name of Lil Baker in a Park Avenue apartment. She's got her own auto and everything. Now you gents know what that's called.
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Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Hummed by Anita Page
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User Reviews

 
Brutal, Shocking, an Trenchant 74 Years Later
11 January 2005 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

Walter Huston is as always excellent, here as a bad guy. He's a corrupt judge. He moves his girlfriend out of her tony digs and into a working class building. There, she lives next-door to a young cab driver, his wife, and infant. The wife happens to glance at a bankbook of the judge's that the baby took and next thing we know, the adoring young mother is set up on a charge of prostitution.

Phillips Holmes, the cabdriver, at first is devastated hat the young girl he married has turned to the streets. Then he starts to realize that she was framed.

He is tortured by hoods of the judge and other bad guys and then he gets the judge and tortures him till he tells the truth.

This was very shocking for its time. So was "Scarface," made at around the same time. Everyone knows about "Scarface" but "Night Court" is undeservedly unknown. Both are precursors t the very best of film noir.

(The only wrong note -- irrelevant to the plot but somewhat amusing -- is when the always fragile looking Holmes is given line describing himself as a big Palooka.)


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