Morning Express ace reporter 'Timmy' Blake uses her wiles and charms to get the scoop on rival papers, and keep her editor happy. When the Express gets a tip that a wealthy old man was ... See full summary »
Assistant District Attorney Stephen Forbes, an impressive orator with a long list of convictions, resigns when an innocent boy is convicted and the real murderer confesses too late. He ... See full summary »
Socialite banker Henry Judson maintains his extravagant lifestyle by embezzling from his bank, but is caught by sleazy assistant manager Waters and is blackmailed by him into continuing. ... See full summary »
A police detective investigating a jewel robbery discovers evidence that points to his girlfriend as the culprit, although she claims she was framed. He arrests her anyway, and she is ... See full summary »
When Laurie goes to the execution of Varney and faints, she does not know that Varney gets a full pardon minutes before he fries. She calls in a story about his death and gets transferred ... See full summary »
Allen claims he his being executed for the wrong murder. Flashbacks show him working with Clark as a riveter. When he makes a killing on the horses he meets Shirley and gets married. When Clark tells him Shirley is unfaithful they fight and Clark falls to his death. Later he finds that Clark was telling the truth.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Even though the "Motion Picture Production Code" was established in 1930 its enforcement was not truly done until 1934. Evidence of that is during the dance hall scene where Vivienne Osborne is seen with significant side breast exposure. See more »
Edward G. Robinson is practically the whole show, and what a show it is. This is Warner precode drama at its best, and why I never heard of it until I saw it on TCM is a wonder. It's got everything, from the seemingly mismatched roommates, thoughtful John (Edward G. Robinson) and gregarious Budd (Preston Foster), talking about scoring on a date in the most unsubtle of language while riveting on a tall skyscraper, to a barracuda in high heels, Shirley (Vivienne Osborne), who has her eyes on John's $62.50 a week from the start and tailors her act to suit his highest admiration - education and books. She tells John she's working in a dance hall to help support her folks so she can have time to study at night, and even the audience is not sure about her at first, so you're sympathetic with John for him not knowing either. However, it's not just John's steady paycheck Shirley's after. There was one true thing she told John before they were married - she has ambitions. As she tells a broken John later on - in wallet and spirit - "there are things a Mrs. can get away with that a Miss can't".
With Mervyn Leroy you'd expect superb direction, and that's what you get. This is so stylishly shot too. Even though there are no expensive sets - after all this is 1932 WB we're talking about - a lot is done with a little. Take the scene in the courtroom with only the sound of a fan at first, Eddie G. in what looks like a spotlight with the rest of the courtroom dark except for the judge's face - we're talking prototype noir here both in substance and style. From the baby face of William Janney that we see in the first frame to that same face full of wonder in the last, this thing is expertly constructed as the flashback of a man about to be executed who has "two seconds" to live his life over from the time the electricity floods his body until his brain stops functioning. Highly recommended.
Best precode moment:Shirley has dragged a drunken - but now married - John back to his apartment. Her first act as John's wife is to kick Bud out for good. Before Bud even has packed his stuff and left, Shirley is stripping down to her undies. Mind you, this is a one room flat. You can only assume she is going to consummate this marriage pronto before John has a chance to sober up and cry "annulment". As a parting shot of regard Bud finishes a cigarette he is smoking and tosses it on to her already bare back as she is raring to go as soon as Bud is out of the room...that is, I'd assume she'd wait until he left the room! Hot stuff from WB.
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