Judge Cass Timberlane marries a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Virginia Marshland. A baby is stillborn and she turns more and more to attorney friend of of Cass' Brad Criley. While...
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Judge Cass Timberlane marries a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Virginia Marshland. A baby is stillborn and she turns more and more to attorney friend of of Cass' Brad Criley. While quarreling the Judge tells Virginia to stay with Brad, but when she becomes sick he brings her home. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
MGM reportedly paid close to $150,000 for the film rights to Lewis' novel. See more »
Bradd's clients, the Wargates, were hiding behavior described as 'not criminal, but illegal' yet their activities were never revealed, despite their intentional manipulation of the Judge and his refusal to postpone their case on the court calendar. See more »
Cass Timberlane is a surprising piece of work coming from the pen of Sinclair Lewis. Lewis's reputation as American novelist comes from such polemical work as It Can't Happen Here, Main Street, and Elmer Gantry. The novel Cass Timberlane plays more like a Ross Hunter type soap opera.
To be sure there are some of the Sinclair Lewis that we know in the class conscious town where Cass Timberlane is a judge. And I certainly can't comment on the book, possibly it was more polemical and political than what we got in the film.
Spencer Tracy plays the title role, a judge in an average size midwestern town that has its good and bad, though it seems that how much money you have determines how good you are. Tracy has been a widower for many years and a pretty lonely fellow away from court.
But one day in court, young Lana Turner pops up as a witness in a negligence case before the judge. She's from the other side of the tracks so to speak. And there's a considerable age difference. Despite that Tracy and Turner fall in love and are married.
At this point the film becomes a soap opera with weak chinned heel Zachary Scott making a big play for Turner who's not happy with the way Tracy's high toned friends are treating her.
Tracy's good, he always is and Turner is luminescently beautiful. Scott has the heel role down pat, it's just a carry over from the part he did in Mildred Pierce. Look for a good performance also from Albert Dekker the corrupt leading citizen in the town.
This is a film that should have waited a decade and have Ross Hunter produce it.
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