An attractive young woman on trial for murder employs her feminine wiles to charm the judge and jury.





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Cast overview:
Judge Kennedy
Jocelyn Lee ...
Amelia Leffingwell Munn, the Defendant
Eddie Dunn ...
Defense Lawyer
Frank Alexander ...
Fat Juror
Italian Juror (as Geno Corrado)


An attractive young woman on trial for murder employs her feminine wiles to charm the judge and jury.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

8 June 1929 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filmed April 11 through 15, 1929. See more »


Metro Goldwyn Fanfare
Music by William Axt
Played during the opening credits
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User Reviews

NOT guilty!
23 July 2016 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

One glance at the title, and connoisseurs of courtroom melodrama may well assume that this two-reel comedy, which was one of the first talkies produced at the Hal Roach Studio, must be a parody of that venerable warhorse of stage and screen, Madame X. Now that I've seen this rarity I can attest that, as it turns out, Q does not equal X. Or at least, not exactly. But parody or no, this is a highly amusing short with a lot to offer: a gallery of top flight character comedians, lots of good gags—including a couple of shockers—and a genuinely surprising, macabre finale reminiscent of Laurel & Hardy's most memorable "freak" endings. That final gag alone is worth the price of admission.

Our setting is a courtroom, where Honorable Justice Edgar Kennedy is presiding. (Inspired casting!) Reporters and photographers jostle for position. An attractive young lady dressed all in black (Ziegfeld showgirl Jocelyn Lee) is on trial for shooting her man. Beyond that, the story bears little relationship with Madame X, but why quibble? The premise gave the Roach crew plenty of juicy material to play with. Kennedy is exasperated and clumsy, and Miss Lee crosses her legs provocatively and flirts madly with everyone, while shutterbug Charley Rogers makes increasingly strenuous efforts to steal a good snapshot. Other familiar players, such as Eddie Dunn, Gino Corrado and Frank "Fatty" Alexander, contribute amusing bits.

A rare 16mm print of this film is being shown this weekend at the Museum of Modern Art, as part of a two-week retrospective devoted to the films of Leo McCarey. Ironically, and despite his screen billing, it's probable that McCarey had little or nothing to do with the finished product. According to film historian and preservationist Richard Bann, who introduced last night's screening, McCarey left the studio months before this film was made. While it's possible that the idea for Madame Q might have come from a scenario he left behind, it's more likely that his screen credit represented a contractual obligation of some kind. Mr. Bann also announced that plans are afoot to make more Roach rarities available on DVD for home viewing. I hope Madame Q is among those selections. As viewers of the day might have said, it's a pip! (Translation: it's a hoot!)

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