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Attorney John Webb, is fighting the crooked political-ring headed by newspaper publisher Vincent Cushing and his crony George Joyce, the district attorney. When Alma Brehmer, Cushing's mistress and Webb's former sweetheart, is murdered, Cushing and Joyce try to railroad Webb as the killer. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Quite amazing for a B movie!!! Travis Banton was Paramount's top clothes designer in the early thirties. He designed dresses for Marlene Dietrich, Claudette Colbert, Kay Francis and Carole Lombard among others.
John Webb, an attorney, (Pat O'Brien) is invited to a party by Alma (Claire Dodd), an old girlfriend, who is now the mistress of Cushing (Edward Arnold). He meets an annoying singer Ann (Ruth Terry), who he later rescues from the paws of a drunken guest. When Webb finds Alma murdered, he determined to "square" it but can't shake the irritating Ann. Helped by his sassy secretary (Eve Arden) and dopey associate (Broderick Crawford), he is stymied by District Attorney Joyce (oily Alan Dinehart) who is in pretty thick with Cushing. Suspects pile up - Alma's ex husband George (Douglas Dumbrille), even Ann puts her foot in it by implicating Webb!!! As one of the reviewers implied, Ann and Webb would have to be the odd couple of the century. In real life he would never find happiness with an air head like her!!! When Webb's secretary is found dead (Eve Arden didn't get much of a chance to strut her stuff), suspicion puts Webb on the top of the list. Evelyn Keyes has a bit as the new secretary and Phyllis Brookes also has a small part as Cushing's beautiful daughter. Things come to a head in a little Texas cemetery.
The film is excellent because of the superior quality of everyone associated with it. The cast was top notch - aside from Pat O'Brien you have Edward Arnold, Broderick Crawford, Douglas Dumbrille and Alan Dinehart, one of the most suave villains of the 30s. Then on the female side you have the beautiful Claire Dodd, Phyllis Brooks, sassy Eve Arden and the lovely Evelyn Keyes (who would have been excellent as Ann, not nearly so annoying as Ruth Terry). Tay Garnett was a real "man's" director who was at home with action adventures ie "China Seas" (1935) and "Trade Winds" (1938).
Claire Dodd, is definitely my favourite bad girl. When she appeared in a film, good girls like Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak and Helen Twelvetrees had some pretty anxious moments - she even played Della Street in a couple of early Perry Masons. Whoever she played she always looked a dream. Phyllis Brooks had been a McClelland Barclay model and although she was decorative her acting skills were almost non existent. Evelyn Keyes was more noted for her wit and racy memoirs but she was extremely vivacious and it was always nice to see her in movies.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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