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The Case Against Mrs. Ames (1936)

| Drama | 8 May 1936 (USA)
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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(as Graham Baker), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Griggsby
...
Lou
...
Mrs. Livingston Ames
...
Lawrence Waterson
Brenda Fowler ...
Mrs. Shumway
...
Matilda
...
Sid
...
Uncle Gordon
...
...
Cora Lamont
...
Judge John Davis
...
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.

Plot Summary | 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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. Its earliest documented telecast took place in Chicago Thursday 19 March 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2), and its tasty title slowly but surely made it a popular local favorite around the country; it first aired in Phoenix 11 May 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Los Angeles 7 October 1959 on KNXT (Channel 2), in Johnstown 27 October 1959 on WJAC (Channel 6), in Asheville 20 December 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), in Omaha 31 December 1959 on KETV (Channel 7), in Grand Rapids 18 January 1959 on WOOD (Channel 8), in Columbus 3 February 1960 on WBNS (Channel 10), in Detroit 5 February 1960 on WJBK (Channel 2), in Philadelphia 14 March 1960 on WCAU (Channel 10), and in Pittsburgh 18 September 1960 on KDKA (Channel 2). See more »

Quotes

Matt Logan: I can't be taking my pants off every 15 minutes. I have a murder to solve.
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User Reviews

 
Great dramatic vehicle for the exquisitely beautiful Carroll
1 February 2006 | by 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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