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The People Against O'Hara (1951)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 602 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 4 critic

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.

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Title: The People Against O'Hara (1951)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
James P. Curtayne
...
Det. Vincent Ricks
...
Virginia 'Ginny' Curtayne
John Hodiak ...
District Attorney Louis Barra
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
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

James Curtayne has retired from law but he returns to defend John O'Hara on a murder charge. Curtayne's drinking and rustiness result in O'Hara's being found guilty, but Curtayne makes further efforts to prove him innocent. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Against sinister forces that prey on youth! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le peuple accuse O'Hara  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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 »

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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.


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