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They Won't Forget (1937)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery  |  9 October 1937 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 928 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 9 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 »
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Title: They Won't Forget (1937)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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
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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:

Approved | 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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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

Confederate Veteran: [to his fellow Confederate veterans] On your feet now. Go on and look sharp. The whole town's watching. This is the one day out of the year that belongs to us.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Murder of Mary Phagan (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Frankly speaking
2 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

It begins with a disclaimer that all characters are entirely fictitious, etc. etc., and cites as source material a novel, but you can't fool us: It's the Leo Frank trial of 1915, updated to the then-present-day South and with Frank's Judaism carefully removed. Other than that, the details are surprisingly close to the actual trial, and the downbeat ending chillingly mirrors reality. Warner Brothers, known in the 1930s as the socially conscious studio, had a message to flog, and in this case it goes a bit overboard: No character has more than one dimension, and even that excellent actor Claude Rains, as the DA, snarls and rolls his eyes and gesticulates wildly, overdoing the blind ambition bit. But for its day it's a pretty brave and out-there indictment against mob violence, bigotry, and sensationalism, particularly the latter. Indeed, the message one takes from it today is that the media hasn't really grown worse in the intervening years -- there's just more of it.


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