MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 11,359 this week

They Won't Forget (1937)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 849 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 8 critic

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 »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Emmy Awards 2014

We have the winners, photos and more in our 2014 Emmys section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 7617 titles
created 13 Aug 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 11 Dec 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 23 May 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: They Won't Forget (1937)

They Won't Forget (1937) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of They Won't Forget.
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Johnny Eager (1941)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

District Attorney's daughter falls in love with a gangster the D.A. is trying to put in jail.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Edward Arnold
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Two brother, rival correspondents, find themselves fighting their conservative editor over stories and each other of over the affections of a pretty blonde journalist.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Robert Sterling
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Great Garrick (Brian Aherne) is the most celebrated London theater actor of his day (eighteenth century) and is invited to Paris to star at the Comedie Francaise, the most important ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Brian Aherne, Olivia de Havilland, Edward Everett Horton
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Operating under royal orders, a count must woo a young and wealthy widow in order to save a kingdom from bankruptcy.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Lana Turner, Fernando Lamas, Una Merkel
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Biography | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Marco Polo travels from Venice to Peking, where he quickly discovers spaghetti and gunpowder and falls in love with the Emperor's daughter. The Emperor Kublai Khan is a kindly fellow, but ... See full summary »

Directors: Archie Mayo, John Cromwell
Stars: Gary Cooper, Sigrid Gurie, Basil Rathbone
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Peggy is 21 and bored. She has just been awarded a certificate for starting work on time for 1000 days. She decides that she needs a change so she leaves a note, which is taken to be ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Lana Turner, Robert Young, Walter Brennan
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Adam Lemp, the Dean of the Briarwood Music Foundation, has passed on his love of music to his four early adult daughters - Thea, Emma, Kay and Ann - who live with him and his sister, the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Claude Rains, John Garfield, Jeffrey Lynn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Judge Cass Timberlane marries a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Virginia Marshland. A baby is stillborn and she turns more and more to attorney friend of of Cass' Brad Criley. While... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Zachary Scott
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A fake music-hall clairvoyant meets a woman, and suddenly his predictions seem to come true ...

Director: Maurice Elvey
Stars: Claude Rains, Fay Wray, Mary Clare
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Aspiring actress Louise Muban attends the prestigious Paris School of Drama during the day and works at a dreary factory assembling gas meters at night. She daydreams and "acts" her way ... See full summary »

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Luise Rainer, Paulette Goddard, Alan Marshal
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Dr. Gillespie tries to teach Jimmy Kildare a lesson by tossing him into a street clinic. Only Kildare gets called to take a bullet out of a suspected murderer, and when the cops collar him ... See full summary »

Director: Harold S. Bucquet
Stars: Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, Laraine Day
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

American woman in Europe romanced by local gigolo; problems ensue.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Lana Turner, Pier Angeli, Carlos Thompson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Andy Griffin
Gloria Dickson ...
Edward Norris ...
Robert Hale
...
Gleason
Allyn Joslyn ...
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
Edit

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:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death in the Deep South  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Fritz Lang was initially offered the project but passed on it, not wanting to be typecast as "an expert on lynching" (he had previously directed Fury (1936), which also involved a lynch mob). See more »

Quotes

Fred: What'll it all be be, ladies?
Imogene Mayfield: Dope and cherry, Fred.
Fred: [to Mary] How about you, half-pint?
Mary Clay: Make mine a chocolate malt and drop an egg in it as fresh as you are.
Fred: The hens don't lay 'em that good.
See more »

Connections

Version of Murder in Harlem (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Kingdom Coming
(1862) (uncredited)
aka "The Year of Jubilo"
Music by Henry Clay Work
Played during the opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A lot of heat but not much light in LeRoy's Hollywood version of Mary Phagan murder
11 January 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

One of Warner Brothers' `hard-hitting' social comment dramas of the 1930s, They Won't Forget leaves viewers all riled up – though, today, maybe less at the judicial process in the Deep South than at Mervyn LeRoy's depiction of it in the movie. Based not too loosely on the Mary Phagan murder case of 1913, it updates the events to the late Depression and also advances the victim's age (Phagan was 13; here, the victim – an unrecognizable Lana Turner, in her debut – is a student at a small business college).

It's Confederate Memorial Day, April 26, and the college lets out early, unexpectedly for instructor Edward Norris, a Northerner. But Turner returns for the vanity case she's left behind. Hours later, her body is discovered at the base of an elevator shaft. The town prosecutor (Claude Rains, slinging a Southern drawl) smells a political advantage that might propel him to the state senate, an advantage of no use if the perpetrator is only the illiterate black janitor who found her. Suspicion falls on Norris, and soon the judicial establishment, the press and the townspeople have turned against him. Outside help – a detective and a defense attorney – prove of no avail. Turner is convicted and sentenced to death; when the governor commutes his sentence, he's lynched (as was Leo Frank in the original case). It's fast, brutal and pretty unsentimental.

LeRoy was known for his slam-bang, take-no-prisoners style but here he dawdles at first. Under the credits is a medley of songs of the South, bolstered by quotations from Lincoln and Robert E. Lee to soften up those touchy audiences in Dixie so they won't know what hit them. When he gets up to speed, however, he doesn't slacken, cutting quick to advance the action – his movie's an unstoppable steamroller, just like the judicial railroading of the story (the lynching itself, expressed by a mailbag clipped off its hook by a passing train, is especially and darkly adroit).

But there's a near-fatal flaw in the story. We're meant to harbor persuasive doubts as to Norris' guilt, but the possibility of a suspect other than he is never more than fleetingly entertained. The movie purports to document a miscarriage of justice, but it fails to build an ironclad case.


17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Only 1 good thing about this movie folkepalm
Where can I get it? glenn43
Know of any other stars with dubious first role? borodinrodin
Superb movie great closing scene borodinrodin
History Explains Parts of the Film lewis-51
Mervyn Leroy uncredited oldmotem
Discuss They Won't Forget (1937) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?