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State's Attorney (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 20 May 1932 (USA)
Attorney Tom Cardigan is the discontented "mouthpiece" for Vanny Powers' mob. When Tom takes sweet June Perry as his mistress, she tries in vain to redeem him. But Powers decides Tom would ... See full summary »

Director:

George Archainbaud

Writers:

Louis Stevens (story), Gene Fowler (screenplay and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Barrymore ... Tom Cardigan
Helen Twelvetrees ... June Perry
Jill Esmond ... Lillian Ulrich
William 'Stage' Boyd ... Valentine 'Vanny' Powers (as William Boyd)
Mary Duncan ... Nora Dean
C. Henry Gordon ... Attorney Grey
Oscar Apfel ... Mr. Ulrich
Ralph Ince ... Defense Attorney
Albert Conti Albert Conti ... Mario
Frederick Burton ... The Judge
Paul Hurst ... Captain Morgan
Edit

Storyline

Attorney Tom Cardigan is the discontented "mouthpiece" for Vanny Powers' mob. When Tom takes sweet June Perry as his mistress, she tries in vain to redeem him. But Powers decides Tom would be even more useful to him as District Attorney, which he arranges with surprising ease...despite Tom's warning that "if I go on the other side, I'll stay there." Soon, Tom's ambition leads him to ditch June for the daughter of political boss Ulric. The crisis arrives when Powers goes on trial for a killing...witnessed by June. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Invincible At Law... Irresistable At Love! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Última Acusação See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story was supposedly based on the life of defense attorney William J. Fallon, who successfully defended 126 homicide cases. Warner Bros. beat RKO to the box office by a couple weeks with The Mouthpiece (1932), also supposedly based on Fallon's life. See more »

Goofs

Later in the movie, when June Perry is brought into Cardigan's office as Jane Doe, he calls her Joan, instead of June. See more »

Connections

Remade as Criminal Lawyer (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor (1894)
Strains played during opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
No clergy for Barrymore and Twelvetrees
5 April 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although there was nothing explicitly sexual in the dialog of State'a Attorney this film definitely belongs in the 'Before the Code' category of films. It was only in post World War II America that you could have a hero with all the frailties of John Barrymore and I'm not talking about Barrymore's drinking.

Helen Twelvetrees plays the usual wronged innocent who comes to top flight criminal attorney Barrymore when he's slumming in night court. He takes her case and then takes up with her and she convinces him to go over to the other side and start prosecuting the people he previously defended like top mobster William Boyd. He and Boyd have considerable history going back to when they were kids.

The Code would end heroes like John Barrymore's character. In his quest for power and respectability he dumps Twelvetrees with whom he was living without benefit of clergy and takes up with quirky Jill Esmond who is rich and her old man Oscar Apfel is powerful. The union does not last long, but no movie hero once the Code was in place would either live with a woman without being married to her or dump said woman strictly for his own ambitions.

Early sound Barrymore and he had not given in to dissipation as he would in his last years. It's an old fashioned acting style but still worthy of giving a look to and enjoying. It was a follow up for Jack possibly in response to brother Lionel playing a lawyer and winning an Oscar for a dramatic courtroom climax in A Free Soul. He also has a climatic courtroom scene, and while not as dramatic it was affective indeed for the junior Barrymore brother.


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