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State's Attorney (1932)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  20 May 1932 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 163 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 3 critic

Attorney Tom Cardigan is the discontented "mouthpiece" for Vanny Powers' mob. When Tom takes sweet June Perry as his mistress, she tries in vain to redeem him. But Powers decides Tom would ... See full summary »

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Title: State's Attorney (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Helen Twelvetrees ...
June Perry
Jill Esmond ...
Lillian Ulrich
William 'Stage' Boyd ...
Valentine 'Vanny' Powers (as William Boyd)
...
Nora Dean
Ralph Ince ...
Second Trial Defense Attorney
Albert Conti ...
Mario
Frederick Burton ...
Second Trial Judge
C. Henry Gordon ...
Attorney Grey
Paul Hurst ...
Police Captain Morgan
Oscar Apfel ...
Mr. Ulrich
Edit

Storyline

Attorney Tom Cardigan is the discontented "mouthpiece" for Vanny Powers' mob. When Tom takes sweet June Perry as his mistress, she tries in vain to redeem him. But Powers decides Tom would be even more useful to him as District Attorney, which he arranges with surprising ease...despite Tom's warning that "if I go on the other side, I'll stay there." Soon, Tom's ambition leads him to ditch June for the daughter of political boss Ulric. The crisis arrives when Powers goes on trial for a killing...witnessed by June. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Invincible At Law... Irresistable At Love!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 May 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Última Acusação  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The trial of Nora Dean is loosely based on the famous trial of Ruth Snyder who was convicted along with her lover, Henry Judd Gray, of killing Ruth's husband Albert. Mrs. Snyder was electrocuted for the crime. A picture of the execution was posted on the front page of the New York Daily News. See more »

Goofs

Later in the movie, when June Perry is brought into Cardigan's office as Jane Doe, he calls her Joan, instead of June. See more »

Connections

Remade as Criminal Lawyer (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor (1894)
Strains played during opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
John Barrymore is very good but the courtroom hysterics are downright embarrassing.
24 January 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

According to IMDb, John Barrymore's character in "State's Attorney" was based on a real attorney, dapper William J. Fallon. How close the character is to Fallon, I have no idea--though I strongly suspect that Fallon's story and this one are very, very different. This is because there are LOTS of hysterics in this one--so many that you just cannot believe the film has any semblance to real life.

The film begins with Barrymore playing Attorney Tom Cardigan. Cardigan seems to be perpetually inebriated--a role to which Barrymore was well suited. However, despite his drinking*, he is an expert attorney who always seems to win. So, he's a valuable asset to mobsters and other low-lifes who need him to help them beat the rap. In the process of doing his job, he meets a woman (Helen Twelvetrees) and they fall in love. While the film never comes out and says it, it's strongly implied that she becomes his mistress.

Surprisingly, his mobster friend has an idea--make Cardigan the State's Attorney where he can be even more helpful to the mob. However, it soon becomes apparent that Cardigan means to do this job well--and not use it as a revolving door for criminals. Cardigan now is interested more in becoming the next governor as opposed to becoming a rich, satisfied lawyer. What's next? See the film.

Because it's a film about lawyers, it's not surprising there are several courtroom scenes. However, to me this was the low point of the film as too often the proceedings became ridiculously melodramatic and shrill. Folks on the witness stand begin screaming their guilt, women break down and cry and, ultimately, Cardigan makes speeches instead of defends or prosecutes. It's a shame, as Barrymore was a fine actor but these scenes tend to bring down the overall quality of the movie. Fair but it sure should have been a lot better.


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