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The Case Against Mrs. Ames (1936)

 -  Drama  -  8 May 1936 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 42 users  
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A beautiful socialite is acquitted of killing her husband only to be sued by her powerful mother-in-law for custody of her own son.

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Title: The Case Against Mrs. Ames (1936)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Madeleine Carroll ...
Hope Ames
George Brent ...
Matt Logan
Arthur Treacher ...
Griggsby
Alan Baxter ...
Lou
...
Mrs. Livingston Ames
...
Lawrence Waterson
Brenda Fowler ...
Mrs. Shumway
Esther Dale ...
Matilda
Edward Brophy ...
Sid
Richard Carle ...
Uncle Gordon
Scotty Beckett ...
Bobbie Ames
...
Cora
Guy Bates Post ...
Judge John Davis
June Brewster ...
Laurette La Rue
Elvira Curci ...
Jeanette
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Storyline

A beautiful socialite is acquitted of killing her husband only to be sued by her powerful mother-in-law for custody of her own son.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is she an unfit mother?

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 May 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Sombra de Pecado  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by MCA ever since. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great dramatic vehicle for the exquisitely beautiful Carroll
1 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a highly entertaining, at times engrossing, film centering on a beleaguered woman's determination to gain custody of her son in the face of an almost universal feeling of revulsion over her alleged responsibility for the murder of her husband.

English actress Madeleine Carroll delivers a convincing performance in a dramatic role of the kind that she was, unfortunately, given too few opportunities to exploit during her career. As Hope Ames she reveals a compelling sense of emotionalism that was never over-wrought and remained contained, but not blunted, by a cool, elegant exterior. Every thing about her had a sense of elegance and refinement that is so characteristic of the exquisitely beautiful English actress, from her angelic countenance to her flawless diction. Even in the highly fraught scenes where she tries to regain the love and trust of her estranged son never descend into rank sentimentality, but elicit a welling poignancy at the heart-felt expression of affection that only a mother could feel for her child.

George Brent plays Matt Logan, a hard-drinking assistant D.A. whose vulgarities and flamboyant excesses provide an effective counterpoise to the cool Mrs. Ames. It seems that Logan represented a sort of tribune of the people in his effort to prove Mrs. Ames guilt in the murder of her husband, his ultimate success having political implications. This secondary theme of class conflict was a favorite among depression era film makers, and the contemporary audience of this production must have got quite a chuckle when Mrs. Ames' snobbish uncle goes so far as to call Logan a communist.

The remainder of the cast is uniformly excellent. Arthur Treacher as Mrs. Ames' butler, Griggsby, adds a little levity with his humorous excesses even though you know that no one could be that big of a ham. On the other hand, Mrs. Ames' son, Bobbie, played by Scottie Becket, couldn't have been more convincing as the snarling, spoiled brat that only his mother could possibly love. Now on second thoughts, maybe that should have been the real case against Mrs. Ames.


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