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The opening scene features Otto Kruger playing a Pinball Machine. This is the earliest known on-screen appearance of a Pinball Machine in a major production. At the time, flippers had not yet been invented and pinball machines were often used for gambling. There was a lot of public debate at the time as to whether pinball was a game of skill or chance, and it was banned in many parts of the country. The movie played on that debate with Kruger making a bet with his lady-friend, and when complimented for his luck, replies "Not luck - skill." See more »
Otto Kruger was an excellent actor and this film was a wonderful opportunity for him to demonstrate his skills. The film begins in Kruger's swank office. He's a rich and successful attorney with very few scruples as well as a rather jaded view of life and women. To sum him up, though successful, he's a self-centered jerk.
Into this office arrives a young woman whose father is up on murder charges. Kruger is too busy and way too egocentric to give the young woman a chance--even when he initially agrees to help her. Again and again, she's left waiting for him to get around to listening to her story. However, when he finally does, he is shocked to hear that the murder victim is actually Kruger's ex-wife who'd left him many years before! It seems that Kruger's idealism and sense of compassion left with her and all the old memories of her came flooding back. To make things worse, he learns that she was a horrid person and realizes what a waste his life has been since she left. Kruger then runs to the cemetery where she was buried--even though it was pouring down rain--and throws himself on the grave. A few days later, he turns up in the hospital suffering from the effects of exposure and nearly dies.
During this little episode, the girl's father's case came up in court and because Kruger wasn't there, the man was easily convicted sine it was passed off to a lawyer who was unprepared. When Kruger FINALLY recovers, he feels horrible for what he'd done and vows to make things right.
While this plot sounds a bit melodramatic (and it was), the acting and action were exceptional and the story very engaging. I really don't want to say more--it may spoil the film, but it's a nice story with a very tense ending. It's well worth a look--especially because of Kruger's terrific performance and range.
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