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Counsellor-at-Law (1933)

Passed | | Drama | 25 December 1933 (USA)
Successful attorney has his Jewish heritage and poverty-stricken background brought home to him when he learns his wife has been unfaithful.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... George Simon
... Regina 'Rexy' Gordon
... Cora Simon
... Bessie Green
... Roy Darwin
... John P. Tedesco
... Lillian La Rue
Clara Langsner ... Lena Simon
John Hammond Dailey ... Charlie McFadden (as J. Hammond Dailey)
... Zedorah Chapman
Robert Gordon ... Henry Susskind (as Bobby Gordon)
Malka Kornstein ... Sarah Becker
... Harry Becker
Marvin Kline ... Herbert Howard Weinberg
... Peter J. Malone
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Storyline

Crackerjack lawyer George Simon is a workaholic, and a successful one, at that. Having just gotten a woman acquited of a murder charge, he is juggling cases ranging from breaking a will to quashing the disorderly conduct charges against the son of a woman he knew in the old neighborhood, before he became a hot shot counsellor. He adores his wife Cora, who feels she married a bit below her station. His step-children think so, too. His secretary Rexy adores him, although he is oblivious to the fact. Threatened with losing his practice due to a discretion in a case seven years earlier, his wife leaves for Europe until the scandal blows over, and he comes to realize (just in time) who his true friends are. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

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Great is the word for...COUNSELLOR AT LAW!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Staranwalt von Manhattan  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to DeWitt Bodeen "Counsellor at Law" was the first film in which Barrymore suffered a prolonged bout of memory loss. Called back for retakes. the sober actor did 56 unsuccessful takes for director William Wyler, who postponed it to the following morning when a still sober Barrymore did it on the first take. See more »

Quotes

Bessie Green: [answering a call] I thought you were dead and buried. Well sure I missed you, like Booth missed Lincoln. What do you think I've been doing, sitting around the house embroidering doilies?
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User Reviews

 
Well-made play. Well-made movie.
17 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

It's criminal that this superb melodrama, from a well-made play of the day, isn't better known. Barrymore, all cylinders firing yet giving a perfectly natural, restrained performance, is a hotshot New York lawyer facing personal and professional ruin; he may never have been better in the movies, and some of the magnetism that made him a stage legend shines through. Wyler makes no attempt to "open up" the stage material; he basically confines it to one (very beautiful) set, and his camera unobtrusively follows the legal-office denizens around, seemingly overhearing conversations, Altman-style. There's a lot of social history tucked away -- with commentary about Jews and gentiles, rich and poor, capitalist and communist -- and a whole stageful of compelling characters, who often define themselves in a walk, a smirk, a laugh. And yes, there are contrivances and coincidences, but that's the stuff the well-made melodramas of the time were made of, and they were seldom constructed as neatly as this. I saw it at a revival house, with a smart New York audience, and nobody laughed in the wrong place or grew cynical about the old social conventions that no longer apply. In fact, at the end they applauded good and hard -- after 70 years, this one's still a corker.


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