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The Law in Her Hands (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 16 May 1936 (USA)
Novice attorneys Mary and 'Dot' open their own practice, confident that their futures looks bright. But after months of rising debt and falling income, Mary stumbles into the employ of ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Dorothy 'Dot' Davis
...
Asst. Dist. Atty. Robert Mitchell
...
Frank 'Legs' Gordon
Eddie Acuff ...
Eddie O'Malley
...
Marty
...
Franz
...
William McGuire
...
Dist. Atty. Thomas Mallon
Matty Fain ...
Augie Simelli (henchman #1)
Milton Kibbee ...
Herman Sturm (as Milt Kibbee)
Eddie Shubert ...
Harry Morton
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Storyline

Novice attorneys Mary and 'Dot' open their own practice, confident that their futures looks bright. But after months of rising debt and falling income, Mary stumbles into the employ of racketeer Frank Gordon. Financial worries behind them, Mary and 'Dot' start representing the dregs of Morgan's society. But will Mary's conscience--not to mention the intervention of her D.A. boyfriend--allow her to continue? Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

16 May 1936 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The $10,000 retainer Mary turns down from Frank would be worth over $170,000 in 2016. See more »

Goofs

When the Assistant D.A. introduces the photograph in court to prove the defendant/racketeer was present in The Bohemian Cafe as both leading characters and the restaurant owner testified he was, trying to extort a $150 protection fee/membership in the Benevolent Association, the photograph clearly shows a man sitting in a chair at a table in the back corner. He also was briefly seen the day of the extortion attempt with another man in that back corner, before the photograph was taken. However, when the photographer actually snapped the photo, and the flash bulbs exploded, the men at the table were gone, and the chair on the right side of the table, by the door, is empty. See more »

Soundtracks

I'd Rather Listen to Your Eyes
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the opening photo credits
Also played when Bob proposes to Mary
Also played when Frank Gordon and Bob are at Mary's apartment, and at the end
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User Reviews

 
...and this is why ladies should stay home and make babies!
21 March 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

My summary is NOT meant to offend...believe me. But this is the attitude that is pervasive in "The Law in Her Hands".

When the film begins, a thug slaps around a restaurant owner and tries to sell him protection. Two women witness this and are not dissuaded by threats from the gangsters to not show up for court after their friend and fellow thug is captured. However, the gang doesn't realize that these are two extra-ordinary women. Wentworth & Davis (Margaret Lindsey and Glenda Farrell) are lawyers and they do more than just testify...they help the DA convict the guy!

As for these lady lawyers, they are recent law school graduates and are about to open up their own practice. However, they cannot find any clients...possibly because it's a sexist world back in the 1930s. In fact, the DA is SUPER-sexist as he wants Wentworth to simply close her practice and make babies....even though she worked long and hard to finish law school. In disgust, Wentworth begins working for Legs Gordon (Lyle Talbot)...a crook who offered her work when no one else would. It turns out that the lawyers are great at their work...and get acquittal after acquittal because of their underhanded tactics. In other words, you appreciate that the women want to be self-sufficient and successful...though they do it in a very sleazy manner. Because of this, the message about equality and women's rights is very muddled...which is a shame. And, the message by the end of the film seems to be that a woman's place IS in the home!! It's a shame...the acting is nice and the film could have worked...but didn't due to the times in which it was made and indifferent writing.


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