A politically ambitious district attorney, unscrupulous tabloid journalists, and regional prejudice combine to charge a teacher with the murder of his student.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(novel), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gloria Dickson ...
Edward Norris ...
Robert Hale
...
Gleason
...
Bill Brock
...
Linda Perry ...
Imogene Mayfield
...
Cy Kendall ...
Detective Laneart
Clinton Rosemond ...
Tump Redwine
E. Alyn Warren ...
Carlisle P. Buxton
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Mrs. Hale (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Clifford Soubier ...
Jim Timberlake
Granville Bates ...
Detective Pindar
Ann Shoemaker ...
Mrs. Mountford
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Storyline

A southern town is rocked by scandal when teenager Mary Clay is murdered on Confederate Decoration Day. Andrew Griffin, a small-time lawyer with political ambitions, sees the crime as his ticket to the Senate if he can find the right victim to finger for the crime. He sets out to convict Robert Hale, a transplanted northerner who was Mary's teacher at the business school where she was killed. Despite the fact that all the evidence against Hale is circumstantial, Griffin works with a ruthless reporter to create a media frenzy of prejudice and hate against the teacher. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death in the Deep South  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the notorious rigged murder trial and subsequent lynching of Leo Frank, the film does not mention that Frank was Jewish, a fact that contributed more to his being tried for a murder he didn't commit, found guilty and lynched than his Northern background (although that was also a factor). The real-life victim, Mary Phagan, was only 13 years old, a far cry from Lana Turner's post-pubescent sweater girl of 16. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Mountford: [In Memorial Day Parade open limo] The only thing that we shall see is the day when Governor Mountford becomes senator.
Gov. Thomas Mountford: You musn't say that too loud. Andy Griffin is in the car behind.
Mrs. Mountford: Andy Griffin doesn't count.
Gov. Thomas Mountford: In politics, my dear, everybody counts.
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Connections

Version of Murder in Harlem (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Maryland, My Maryland
(1861) (uncredited)
Music based on the German Christmas carol "Lauriger Horatius"
("Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum")
Played by a band at the Memorial Day parade
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User Reviews

Searing
12 February 2005 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This may well be the most depressing movie ever made. Based on a notorious murder case, the audience is spared nothing. I think it took guts for producer Mervyn Leroy to make this film. Many theaters refused to show it. The role of a lifetime for actor Claude Rains, I was impressed by the performance of the actress who plays the wife of the victim of a trial that never should have been. It takes a strong stomach to sit through until the end. The film did win awards, but the Academy of Arts and Sciences was afraid to touch it. In real life the victim of the miscarriage of justice was exonerated many years later, but the political career of the Governor who tried to commute his sentence was ruined.


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