6.9/10
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25 user 12 critic

Penthouse (1933)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Romance | 8 September 1933 (USA)
Racketeer Tony Gazotti is thankful that lawyer Jackson Durant helps him beat a murder rap, but Durant just does it for the thrill of it and refuses payment. Durant's defense of mobsters ... See full summary »

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Storyline

Racketeer Tony Gazotti is thankful that lawyer Jackson Durant helps him beat a murder rap, but Durant just does it for the thrill of it and refuses payment. Durant's defense of mobsters causes his firm to disown him and his girlfriend Sue to leave him. But when young Tom Siddall, Sue's new boyfriend, is framed for a murder, she is the first to come asking for Durant's help. Durant uses Gazotti's information network and the help of new girlfriend Gertie Waxted to find that rival gangster Jim Crelliman is involved in the framing of Siddall. When Durant sends Gertie to Crelliman's apartment in a bid to blow open the case, she is walking on thin ice. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

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Genres:

Crime | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

8 September 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesinato en la terraza  »

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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?

Trivia

The film opens with the actual May, 1933 cover of Cosmopolitan magazine - the issue in which Arthur Somers Roche's story appeared. The film went into production in August and was released in September that same year. This film is a tremendous example of how quickly a Hollywood studio could work back then. At the time, Cosmopolitan was a literary periodical, first published in 1886, and didn't become a "womans" magazine until the mid-1960's. See more »

Goofs

When Gertie stands looking out Durant's apartment window, her left arm is up with her hand on her head but, when the shot changes to see her from the front, her arm is down and her hand is resting against the window frame. See more »

Quotes

Tony Gazotti: If Gertie ever double-crossed you, she'd be playin' a harp with her pal, Mimi.
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Crazy Credits

The title card for "Penthouse" announces that the film is presented by "Metro-Golwyn-Mayer". See more »

Connections

Featured in Myrna Loy: So Nice to Come Home to (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Blame Me
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Played at the Country Club
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User Reviews

 
Pretty good little mystery
20 May 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film was made a year before Myrna Loy catapulted to super-stardom with the Thin Man movies. At this point in her career, she was still a relatively unknown actress with a long but generally undistinguished track record. Warner Baxter, on the other hand, was the bigger star--with starring roles in 42ND STREET, THE CISCO KID (and its sequel) and THE SQUAW MAN.

Stylistically, the film is actually a lot like Baxter's B-movie series, The Crime Doctor, though in this case he plays a defense attorney who investigates crimes instead of a criminal psychiatrist who investigates crimes. Additionally, PENTHOUSE has a bit more style, polish and better acting than the Columbia Pictures series.

The film begins with Baxter getting a big-time hood off for a crime he apparently did not commit (for once). However, in a odd scene, the other lawyers in the practice vote him out because they don't want to be associated with such riffraff and attorneys who defend them (Ethics and a law practice?!?! What planet did these lawyers come from anyway?!?!). Additionally, Baxter's stuck up fiancée breaks it off with him because of the unsavory element he chooses to defend. However, Baxter really isn't a jerk lawyer--he just feels that IF the guy is actually innocent, he deserves a strong defense attorney (duh). But in this bizarre As I said above, this is a film with the odd idea of an attorney PERSONALLY investigating and solving crimes which his friends or clients are accused of committing. In reality, this never happens and I can't imagine Johnny Cochran or Robert Shapiro doing this and it's a cliché you just have to accept or else the film makes very little sense.

Along for the ride are Loy, Nat Pendleton (in one of his better and richer supporting roles) and a variety of other familiar faces (including veteran B actor, George E. Stone). It won't change your life and is a tad silly, but so well done that it's easy to forgive and enjoy.

By the way, having Myrna Loy stay in Baxter's apartment (even though they were in separate rooms) probably never would have gotten past the censors just one year later after the new Production Code would be enacted. Nor would a single man (Baxter) have been allowed to show a single girl around his bedroom.


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