Jim Curtayne, formerly a successful defense attorney who is now a recovering alcoholic, attempts a comeback when he defends a neighbor's son a homicide charge.

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A small town policeman is assisted by a Harvard professor when the skeletal remains of a pregnant prostitute turn up on a Massachusetts beach.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Ricardo Montalban, Sally Forrest, Bruce Bennett
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman he meets is murdered, a soon to be drafted sailor has until dawn to find the killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl.

Director: Harold Clurman
Stars: Susan Hayward, Bill Williams, Paul Lukas
Desperate (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mexican and American federal agents tackle a vicious gang exploiting illegal farm workers in southern California.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Howard Da Silva
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ex-GI Nick Blake gets involved in a scheme to fleece a rich young widow, but finds himself falling for her for real, much to the displeasure of his racketeer cohorts.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: John Garfield, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Walter Brennan
The Window (1949)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

To avoid the heat of a sweltering summer night a 9 year old Manhattan boy decides to sleep on the fire escape and witnesses a murder, no one will believe him.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff
Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Barbara Hale, Arthur Kennedy
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mystery writer Cornelius Leyden becomes intrigued when the murdered body of a vicious career criminal washes up in the Bosphorus.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Zachary Scott
Johnny Eager (1941)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

District Attorney's daughter falls in love with a gangster the D.A. is trying to put in jail.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Edward Arnold
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Pursued by the big-time gambler he robbed, John Muller takes a new identity, with ironic results.

Director: Steve Sekely
Stars: Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Eduard Franz
The Gangster (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Barry Sulivan is a cynical gangster who controls the Neptune Beach waterfront. He runs a numbers racket with the local soda shop owner: the police are in his pocket and the local hoods are on his payroll.

Director: Gordon Wiles
Stars: Barry Sullivan, Belita, Joan Lorring
Split Second (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Sam Hurley, "Nation's No. 1 killer" with a cold contempt for "heroes," escapes prison with two companions and takes a mixed bag of hostages to Nevada ghost town Lost Hope City. He knows ... See full summary »

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling
Tension (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A meek pharmacist creates an alternate identity under which he plans to murder the bullying liquor salesman who has become his wife's lover.

Director: John Berry
Stars: Richard Basehart, Audrey Totter, Cyd Charisse
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
James P. Curtayne
...
Det. Vincent Ricks
...
Virginia 'Ginny' Curtayne
...
District Attorney Louis Barra
...
Sol 'Knuckles' Lanzetta
...
John Fordman 'Johnny' O'Hara
Yvette Duguay ...
Mrs. Katrina Lanzetta
...
Sven Norson
...
Frank Korvac
...
Jeff Chapman
Henry O'Neill ...
Judge Keating
Arthur Shields ...
Mr. O'Hara
Louise Lorimer ...
Mrs. Peg O'Hara
...
Betty Clark, Policewoman
Emile Meyer ...
Capt. Tom Mulvaney
Edit

Storyline

Jim Curtayne, formerly a successful criminal defense attorney and currently a recovering alcoholic, has turned to civil law because of his problems with the bottle, daughter Ginny delays marrying in order to keep her dad on the straight and narrow, but when the son of neighborhood friends is accused of murder, he is lured into returning to criminal law. Complications arise as the initially overconfident Curtayne experiences lapses inn memory and judgment as well as an uncooperative client. He finds himself well over his head as he tries to reclaim his self-confidence and professional standing. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

O'HARA MIGHT BEAT MURDER - IF HIS LAWYER CAN BEAT THE BOTTLE! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le peuple accuse O'Hara  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to John Sturges's inputs for the book of Emmanuel Laborie "Sturges: a filmmaker's story", John Sturges said he was frightened directing Spencer Tracy who was a living legend. At the beginning, he was just stuck on the story-board and choosing good camera angles and did not dare to interfere in Tracy's way of acting. Until the day, Tracy rehearsed a scene, while Sturges was looking at it through the eye-piece of the camera, suddenly took off his jacket and hung it on the camera lens blocking up the director's view. Then Tracy took Sturges aside and told "John, can you stop only worrying about your camera and take care about the actors because the camera is only a hungry machine and it will not be satisfied if you feed it with junk food". See more »

Goofs

When Curtayne walks up to the bar to order a short beer, a moving shadow of the boom microphone and cables can be seen in the mirror behind the bar. See more »

Quotes

Postal Clerk: Oh, you're an attorney?
James P. Curtayne: Yeah.
Postal Clerk: Then you should know about a court order.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Battle's In the Bottle
13 May 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

The People Against O'Hara is a slightly offbeat film to have come out in 1951. It's both a crime picture and a fairly realistic study of alcoholism. The photography is by noir tyro John Alton, and in many of its night-time and shadowy scenes the movie looks like a thriller, which it really isn't. Director John Sturges was an up and comer at the MGM of this time, and the film was one of the earlier shots at A level film-making. The cast,--Spencer Tracy, Diana Lynn, Pat O'Brien, John Hodiak--are all fine.

I can't say that the script is any great shakes, but it gets the job done. The story goes off in several directions, as it deals with everything from father-daughter love to gangsters. I like the film more than most people and think that had the script been tidied up it might have been a great movie. There are some splendid moments, and one in the courtroom in particular stands out, when a young thug delivers such a double-talking testimony that lawyer Tracy almost has a nervous breakdown while questioning him. The kid senses that Tracy is vulnerable and keeps on twisting his words deliberately, and Tracy goes for the bait. It's a tough scene to watch, alternately sad, realistic and infuriating.

Tracy plays his role as a recovering alcoholic with sincerity and a conspicuous absence of sentiment. This man is not a saint and never was. Even when clean and sober he's a far cry from perfect, and he always will be.


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
last line of movie adamj-4
Question about the end freestylerocka
Funeral Speech nlamey
Accordian player turtledove43
Discuss The People Against O'Hara (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?