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Crime Without Passion (1934)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 30 August 1934 (USA)
Prominent lawyer shoots unfaithful girlfriend during quarrel, has to establish alibi.
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Cast

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Leslie Adams ...
State's Attorney O'Brien
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Storyline

Prominent lawyer shoots unfaithful girlfriend during quarrel, has to establish alibi.

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Plot Keywords:

lawyer | murder | See All (2) »

Taglines:

He had tired of her - and for that he was sorry! He was tied to her - and for that he hated her!

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

30 August 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crime Sem Paixão  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

According to cinematographer Lee Garmes, "I directed about 60-70 per cent of the picture; we'd start at 9:00 a.m. and some days Hecht [Ben Hecht] was there, some days MacArthur [Charles MacArthur]; they'd start working on the picture at eleven a.m.! So they relied on me. They set the style of how they wanted the dialogue done, and I would direct the whole physical side of it." See more »

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User Reviews

 
The film debut of Margo, opposite Claude Rains
28 January 2014 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

1934's "Crime Without Passion" is a rarely seen independent written, produced, and directed by regular writing team Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur ("The Front Page"), which was followed by three more in a span of two years- "The Scoundrel," "Once in a Blue Moon," and "Soak the Rich" (Hecht directed three more without MacArthur, who never directed again). Shot on Long Island in May-June 1934, this was Claude Rains' first feature since the phenomenal success of his Hollywood debut "The Invisible Man," and the actual film debut of actress/dancer Margo, niece of Xavier Cugat, remembered as the wife of GREEN ACRES' Eddie Albert, and mother of Edward Lawrence Albert (who looked just like his beautiful mother). Top billed Rains excels as Lee Gentry, smug, self-satisfied defense attorney, cool under fire in the courtroom, dismissing his guilty clients as little more than insects, using women much the same way. On one hand is long suffering lover Carmen Brown (Margo), who simply cannot let go, while he has since fallen for Katy Costello, who would rather they part as friends (played by Whitney Bourne, also making her film debut, finishing with less than a dozen credits). The lustful Gentry schemes to rid himself of Carmen, first falsely accusing her of seeing an old flame (Stanley Ridges), then confronting her in her apartment (with a loaded gun). Things go badly as he unintentionally shoots her, then must build an alibi for himself, desperately trying to maintain his composure with his own neck in the hangman's noose. A welcome last gasp of pre-code paranoia, a fascinating study of a most unlikable lead character; Claude Rains continued his newfound stardom in "The Man Who Reclaimed His Head," "Mystery of Edwin Drood," and "The Clairvoyant." Surprise cameos from Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur as reporters interviewing Gentry 10 minutes in, even more surprising cameos from their respective wives 48 minutes in, Fanny Brice and Helen Hayes, seen by the camera panning through a hotel lobby. Another feature debut is that of Paula Trueman, a ubiquitous presence playing elderly eccentrics in the 70s and 80s, looking very much like Fanny Brice's 'Baby Snooks' in her scene stealing role as Buster Malloy, Carmen's stage partner, who inadvertently aids the despised Gentry with his meticulously plotted alibi.


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