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Stronger Than Desire (1939)

Passed  |   |  Drama  |  30 June 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 200 users  
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Wealthy socialite Elizabeth Flagg is courted by persistent Michael McLain, despite her protests that she is a married woman. McLain is just charming enough to attract Elizabeth into a ... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Tyler Flagg
Michael McLain
Eva McLain
Ilka Chase ...
Jo Brennan
Rita Johnson ...
Barbara Winter
Richard Lane ...
Jerry Brody
Ann E. Todd ...
Susan Flagg (as Ann Todd)
Paul Stanton ...
Assistant D.A. Galway
Ferike Boros ...
Mrs. D'Amoro


Wealthy socialite Elizabeth Flagg is courted by persistent Michael McLain, despite her protests that she is a married woman. McLain is just charming enough to attract Elizabeth into a series of harmless dalliances. But when he tries to extort money from her, they quarrel violently and she shoots at him with his own gun. McLain's wife Eva is arrested for his murder. With strong circumstantial evidence against her, Eva seems sure to be convicted... until the guilt-ridden Elizabeth persuades her own husband, defense attorney Tyler Flagg, to take the woman's case. He does so, but without knowing of his wife's involvement. Written by Dan Navarro <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


WHY NOT A HARMLESS FLIRTATION! But see what happened to a woman who just once...but once too often! (original 2x9 newspaper ad) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 June 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Acuso Minha Mulher  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Buddy Messinger is listed in studio records as a Bellhop in this movie, but he's not seen. See more »


When McLain goes to look up Flagg's number in the phone book, entries in the column on the right are out of alphabetical order and are repeated two or three times. See more »


Follows Society Lawyer (1939) See more »


Lullaby (Cradle Song)
(1868) (uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Played on piano offscreen by Ann E. Todd
Reprised as background music near the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Strong performances bolster melodramatic programmer...
23 September 2011 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

WALTER PIDGEON stars as a man famous for being a defense lawyer who gets women cleared of murder charges in circumstantial cases.

Little does he know that he's soon going to be taking a case where a woman (ANN DVORAK) is charged with murdering her husband--and that his own wife (VIRGINIA BRUCE) was involved with the murdered man (LEE BOWMAN). In fact, his wife thinks she murdered Bowman in an accidental struggle over a gun. All of this leads to a courtroom scene where a plot twist reveals what really happened.

What distinguishes this little programmer from most B-films produced by MGM are the performances. Particularly effective are Virginia Bruce who manages to overcome a tendency to be bland by giving a very earnest performance as the woman who finds herself in difficult circumstances after realizing her friendship with Lee Bowman is really a set-up for blackmail.

And ANN DVORAK, never one of my favorite actresses, is really outstanding here as Bowman's long suffering wife who doesn't know that her lawyer's wife is "the other woman" involved with her husband. Not only is she photographed attractively, but she makes the most of a meaty supporting role.

RICHARD LANE does his usual competent job in a supporting role but it's the ladies who stand out in performances worthy of a better script. ILKA CHASE does her usual "best friend of the leading lady" bit, the sort of role she was relegated to throughout most of her career. Little ANN TODD is tolerable as the child who wishes her father could spend more time with her.

While Pidgeon is solid as the lawyer, it's Virginia Bruce and Ann Dvorak who have the most rewarding roles and take most of the spotlight.

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well done. ksf-2
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