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Disbarred (1939) More at IMDbPro »


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Lillie Hayward (screenplay)
Robert Presnell Sr. (screenplay)
View company contact information for Disbarred on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 January 1939 (USA) See more »
He's America's crooked mouthpiece No. 1!
The Bar Association disbars attorney Tyler Cradon when it appears he was implicated in the murder of a prominent vice crusader... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
J. Ed didn't long as they spelled his night right...and didn't mention Clyde. See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Gail Patrick ... Joan Carroll

Robert Preston ... Bradley Kent

Otto Kruger ... Tyler Craden

Sidney Toler ... G.L. 'Mardy' Mardeen
Helen MacKellar ... Abbey Tennant

Virginia Dabney ... Miss Gita LaRue
Eddie Marr ... Harp Harrigan (as Edward Marr)
Charles D. Brown ... Jackson
Clay Clement ... Attorney Roberts
Frank M. Thomas ... Dist. Atty. G.H. Blanchard

John Hart ... First Reporter

Harry Worth ... Second Reporter

Virginia Vale ... Airline Stewardess (as Dorothy Howe)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Richard Alexander ... Counterman (uncredited)
Harry A. Bailey ... Witness (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Schaeffer (uncredited)

Fritzi Brunette ... Joan's Maid (uncredited)
A.S. 'Pop' Byron ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)
Dolores Casey ... (uncredited)
Edward Cecil ... 2nd Jury Foreman (uncredited)
Wheaton Chambers ... Ballistics Expert (uncredited)

Maurice Costello ... Frightened Juror (uncredited)
Sheila Darcy ... Secretary (uncredited)
Hal K. Dawson ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Dick Elliott ... Small-Town Juror (uncredited)
Robert Elliott ... L.M. Curron (uncredited)

Paul Fix ... Stone (uncredited)

Robert Frazer ... Brimmer (uncredited)
Eddie Holden ... (uncredited)
Walter James ... Juror (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Juror (uncredited)
Gwen Kenyon ... (uncredited)
Brady Kline ... Detective (uncredited)
Jack Knoche ... Reporter (uncredited)
Kate Drain Lawson ... Rawboned Country Woman (uncredited)
Edward LeSaint ... Judge (uncredited)

Murdock MacQuarrie ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)

George Magrill ... Cop (uncredited)

Joyce Mathews ... Cigarette Girl (uncredited)

Howard M. Mitchell ... 2nd Bailiff (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... Prowler (uncredited)
James Pierce ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Cyril Ring ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)

Bert Roach ... Brimmer's Frightened Witness (uncredited)
Ruth Robinson ... Marion Mason (uncredited)
Ruth Rogers ... (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore ... Chicago Passenger (uncredited)
Archie Twitchell ... Juror (uncredited)

Harry Tyler ... Hotel Cashier (uncredited)

Janet Waldo ... (uncredited)

Luana Walters ... (uncredited)
Phil Warren ... Secretary (uncredited)
Paul Weigel ... Warehouse Watchman (uncredited)
Pat West ... Man in Hotel Lobby (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Florey 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Lillie Hayward  screenplay
Robert Presnell Sr.  screenplay (as Robert R. Presnell)
Harry Sauber  short story

Produced by
Stuart Walker .... producer
Original Music by
Gerard Carbonara (uncredited)
John Leipold (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Harry Fischbeck 
Film Editing by
Arthur P. Schmidt 
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
William Flannery 
Costume Design by
Edith Head 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William D. Faralla .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
A.E. Freudeman .... interior decorator
Sound Department
Gene Merritt .... sound recordist
Music Department
Boris Morros .... musical director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
58 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Did You Know?

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.See more »


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
J. Ed didn't long as they spelled his night right...and didn't mention Clyde., 19 December 2006

J. Edgar Hoover, Chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was never one to shy away from any "favorable" publicity, and also was not adverse to making a buck or two on the side. He wrote a book, "Persons in Hiding," and had no problem acquiring a publisher (magazine and book), nor any problem finding a Hollywood studio readily willing to acquire the film rights. He made 'em an offer they couldn't refuse. Who, in their right mind, was going to say no to Mr. Hoover?

Paramount acquired the rights to "Persons in Hiding" and squeezed four films out of the book..."Persons in Hiding," "Undercover Doctor," "Queen of the Mob" and "Parole Fixer." Hoover also wrote the following message that is used up front on "Disbarred": "In the background of almost every crime is a crooked lawyer. The records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that the lawyer-criminal is the friend of the hold-up man---the confidant of bank robbers and the hub of bribery activities. He is the brains by which the underworld manages to thrive and to outwit law enforcement. This type of man deserves to be behind prison bars with his clients" (signed) J. Edgar Hoover, Chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

J. Edgar was not one for pussyfooting around the bush. So, in addition to using this message on the film, Paramount also incorporated it into the six-sheet poster---"Behind every crook is a Crooked Lawyer"-J. Edgar Hoover---and also on several of the newspaper ads, all of which varied slightly from the message Hoover wrote by leaving out qualifiers or changing the verbiage and context slightly. There is no record that Hoover ever complained to Paramout about being "misquoted." "Disbarred" then set out to prove Mr. Hoover's case against lawyers: The Bar Association disbars attorney Tyler Cradon (Otto Krueger) when it appears he was implicated in the murder of a prominent vice crusader. Cradon, not wishing to be without an income,is impressed by the way Joan Carroll (Gail Patrick) handled a small-town murder, poses as a real estate agent and offers to get her into a law firm of a friend of his. Placed in the office of Roberts (Clay Clement), running a front for Cradon, Joan is taught every trick of the trade. With her cases all prepared for her, she goes from one courtroom victory to another, soon becoming the darling of the underworld and the despair of all law-enforcing authorities. Her performances impress the young assistant district attorney, Bradley Kent (Robert Preston), and they begin a budding romance in spite of the fact that Kent criticizes her connections.

But when Roberts asks her to defend a notorious racketeer who has murdered a policeman, she realizes that Kent was right and immediately joins the district attorney's office as a deputy. Learning that the authorities are on Roberts' trail, she goes to see Cradon, whom she still believes to be a hard-working, honest real estate agent, to warn him about the kind of company he is keeping.

By accident she learns that Cradon is---oh, the horror---the worst of all human beings---a lawyer who defends criminals---and it doesn't take many more frames before the audience is delivered the message promised on the three-sheet poster from this film...The Lowdown on the Crooked Mouthpiece Racket!

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