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Slightly Honorable (1939)

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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 235 users  
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A lawyer is framed for the murder of a young party girl and tries to clear his name.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Slightly Honorable (1939)

Slightly Honorable (1939) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Webb
Vincent Cushing
Russel Sampson
Ruth Terry ...
Anne Seymour - Nightclub Singer
Alan Dinehart ...
District Attorney George Joyce
Claire Dodd ...
Alma Brehmer
Phyllis Brooks ...
Sarilla Cushing
Miss Ater
George Taylor
Bernard Nedell ...
Pete Godena
Ernest Truex ...
P. Hemingway Collins
Janet Beecher ...
Mrs. Cushing
Miss Vlissingen
John Sheehan ...
Mike Daley


A lawyer is framed for the murder of a young party girl and tries to clear his name.

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Release Date:

22 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the character played by Pat O'Brien is unencumbered by marital ties, he wears a wedding ring throughout the film. See more »


Alma Brehmer: Look, there are very few things in my life that I really regret. One of them is the time I wasted on you.
Pete Godena: Cool off, Snow White! Now let's you and me have a nice little heart-to-heart talk, hmm?
Alma Brehmer: What would you use?
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User Reviews

Tone down or even lose Ruth Terry's character and you have a great film
11 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The overriding story of the film - the murder of a well-known party girl (Claire Dodd) whose body is discovered by crusading attorney John Webb (Pat O'Brien) who also happens to be a former boyfriend - and things don't look good for our hero who is instantly murder suspect number one. Furthermore Webb is trying to get the goods on graft king Vincent Cushing (Edward Arnold). Webb thinks Cushing did the murder and set him up to take the fall, and thus spends the rest of the movie trying to clear his name. The movie is well-paced and everything is moving along in an interesting fashion when every few minutes - like interference on a radio channel - in pops Ruth Terry's character and her incessant yammering. She has her eye set on Webb from the moment she sees him although she says she's 18 and he looks old enough to be her father. She lies about her background, so why couldn't she be lying about her age? If Webb were smarter he'd be equally as worried about getting involved in a statutory rape rap as he is murder. What girl of 18 gets dressed up in a revealing gown, goes to a party full of known hoods, and then is shocked when one puts the moves on her? Or doesn't have the sense to NOT take her dress off in front of a grown man when she's alone in his apartment? She's either 13 or she doesn't have all of her marbles.

I waste so much time on Terry's character here because it distracts from what could have been a very good film. I took off two stars just for the annoyance factor alone. Other than that - and its a big "that"

  • the film is a great noir with an interesting twist at the end. Robert
Osborne said that director Tay Garnett became ill during filming and Walter Wanger had to finish the film out himself with Garnett very upset at the end result. I can only guess that Mr. Garnett's objections were the same as mine.

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