IMDb > They Won't Forget (1937)
They Won't Forget
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They Won't Forget (1937) More at IMDbPro »


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7.4/10   978 votes »
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Up 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ward Greene (novel)
Robert Rossen (screen play) ...
View company contact information for They Won't Forget on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 October 1937 (USA) See more »
A politically ambitious district attorney, unscrupulous tabloid journalists, and regional prejudice combine to charge a teacher with the murder of his student. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
A lot of heat but not much light in LeRoy's Hollywood version of Mary Phagan murder See more (35 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Claude Rains ... Andy Griffin
Gloria Dickson ... Sybil Hale
Edward Norris ... Robert Hale

Otto Kruger ... Gleason

Allyn Joslyn ... Bill Brock

Lana Turner ... Mary Clay
Linda Perry ... Imogene Mayfield

Elisha Cook Jr. ... Joe Turner
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
Paul Everton ... Governor Mountford
Donald Briggs ... Harmon
Sibyl Harris ... Mrs. Clay (as Sybil Harris)

Trevor Bardette ... Shattuck Clay
Elliott Sullivan ... Luther Clay
Wilmer Hines ... Ransom Clay
Eddie Acuff ... Drugstore Clerk

Frank Faylen ... Reporter
Leonard Mudie ... Judge Moore

Harry Davenport ... Confederate Soldier
Harry Beresford ... Confederate Soldier
Edward McWade ... Confederate Soldier
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Al Bridge ... Mob Leader Outside Governor's Mansion (uncredited)
Tom Brower ... First Turnkey (uncredited)
Raymond Brown ... Colonel Foster - Redwine's Lawyer (uncredited)
Claudia Coleman ... Dolly Holly - Reporter (uncredited)
Robert Cummings Sr. ... Whipple - Banker (uncredited)

John Dilson ... Detective Briggs (uncredited)

Earl Dwire ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)
Jerry Fletcher ... Boy in Pool Room (uncredited)
Eddie Foster ... Boy in Pool Room (uncredited)
Roger Gray ... Barbershop Customer (uncredited)
George Guhl ... Bartender (uncredited)
Henry Hall ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Harry Hollingsworth ... Turnkey (uncredited)
Thomas E. Jackson ... Detective on Train (uncredited)

I. Stanford Jolley ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Owen King ... Flannigan (uncredited)
George Lloyd ... Detective on Train (uncredited)
Paul Maxey ... Man in Saloon Smoking Pipe (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Police Captain (uncredited)
Charles Morton ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Dougherty - Publisher (uncredited)
Psyche Nibert ... Hazel - Imogene's Friend (uncredited)
Robert Porterfield ... Jimmy Harrison - Dissenting Juror (uncredited)
Peter Potter ... Boy in Pool Room (uncredited)
Frank Rasmussen ... Detective Tucker (uncredited)
Dick Rich ... Cop Guarding Hale (uncredited)
Addison Richards ... Trailer Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
John Ridgely ... Boy in Pool Room (uncredited)
Adele St. Mauer ... Mrs. Timberlake (uncredited)
Maidel Turner ... Stout Lady on Train (uncredited)
Tom Wilson ... Farmer in Courtroom (uncredited)
Walter Young ... Mr. Mimms (uncredited)

Directed by
Mervyn LeRoy (uncredited)
Writing credits
Ward Greene (novel "Death In the Deep South")

Robert Rossen (screen play) and
Aben Kandel (screen play)

Produced by
Mervyn LeRoy .... producer (uncredited)
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch 
Cinematography by
Arthur Edeson (photography)
Film Editing by
Thomas Richards (film editor)
Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas  (as Robert Haas)
Costume Design by
N'was McKenzie (gowns) (as Miss MacKenzie)
Makeup Department
Al Bonner .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Helen Turpin .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lee Katz .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Lloyd S. Edwards .... props (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
James Hicks .... grip (uncredited)
Music Department
Adolph Deutsch .... arrangements
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Other crew
Dalton S. Reymond .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as a Warner Bros. - First National Picture) (A Mervyn LeRoy Production)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:G | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | USA:Not Rated (DVD Rating) | USA:Approved (PCA #3150) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Featured the film debuts of 3 Idaho-born actresses: Linda Perry, Gloria Dickson, and Lana Turner.See more »
Andy Griffin:Any fool can ride to glory on a helpless Negro janitor. I'm out for bigger game.See more »
(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's LandSee more »


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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
A lot of heat but not much light in LeRoy's Hollywood version of Mary Phagan murder, 11 January 2003
Author: bmacv from Western New York

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.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Where can I get it? glenn43
Only 1 good thing about this movie folkepalm
I Live in Georgia henryeather
Mervyn Leroy uncredited oldmotem
Know of any other stars with dubious first role? borodinrodin
Superb movie great closing scene borodinrodin
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