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The People Against O'Hara (1951)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 625 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
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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:

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

Although almost all of the film takes place in New York City, there is less than 5 minutes of footage filmed on location in the City of New York. See more »

Quotes

Det. Vincent Ricks: [Ricks brings in Frank Korvac] Here he is... people's witness.
District Attorney Louis Barra: [Contemptuously] People's witness? People's slob!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spencer Tracy uplifts a familiar plot
4 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An excellent performance by Spencer Tracy in "The People Against O'Hara" lifts this all too familiar plot line to a different level. Tracy is an alcoholic who, for the sake of his health and sobriety, becomes a civil attorney, only to be drawn back into criminal work when neighborhood friends need him to defend their son. The son is played by a pre-Gunsmoke, blond James Arness, and it was a pleasure to see him do something besides the one-note Matt Dillon. Diana Lynn does an excellent job as Tracy's protective daughter, and a pathetically young Richard Anderson is her patient fiancé.

Tracy's performance drives the film, which is really just an excuse for a character study, and who better to essay it. He beautifully shows the man's torment and loss of abilities. The ending is tense and suspenseful.

There is a fine cast, including the above, Pat O'Brien John Hodiak, Eduardo Cianelli, and William Campbell (who in real life was for a time married to Judith Exner, the woman who went public with her affair with JFK).

I think Spencer Tracy is always worth watching, and this film is no exception.


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