An unprincipled hustler who makes his living getting--or making up--evidence in divorce cases finds that he's framing his own daughter.An unprincipled hustler who makes his living getting--or making up--evidence in divorce cases finds that he's framing his own daughter.An unprincipled hustler who makes his living getting--or making up--evidence in divorce cases finds that he's framing his own daughter.
Surprisingly inventive and clever forgotten film
Nobody has reviewed this for IMDB so I thought I'd jump in since I tracked down a tattered print of this rare film with no credits on it, with Spanish subtitles and Spanish inserts replacing English letters and books that were shown within the film. The heavy-set veteran Edward Arnold carries off this film nicely as the attorney Frank Rodie. Don't read the plot summary because the film is full of cleverly plotted legal twists and turns that culminate in a bizarre (and not completely satisfying) finish. The film has some comedic sections too, most notably with Walter Catlett as an over-enthusiastic public relations expert and a very funny scene in which Franklin Pangborn is almost seduced by a strongly oversexed young lady. The scenes with Catlett and Pangborn feel extraneous to the picture which is really a drama about the bitter personal dramas that lead to Arnold becoming a famous divorce lawyer, who makes his living through staged framings of innocent people. The ever wicked Clarence Wilson is on hand as Mr. Keibel, an unscrupulous lawyer. Wilson, with his diminutive frame and bizarre looking head, graced dozens upon dozens of films as a nasty lawyer fond of foreclosing on widows and orphans. He is one of those great character actors of which few can recall the name but usually just say "oh that guy" when they see him. The film is really Edward Arnold's to showcase his considerable dramatic chops and his sly wickedness at seeking revenge for the deeply felt wrongs done to him by his golddigging and scheming wife, played by former silent film minor star Dorothy Revier. If you like old movies and well written dialogue and you can find a print of this that isn't kind of bad (the version I got hold of has several untranslated Spanish sections to read and I got through it by pausing the film and going to a dictionary), I'd call this one a worthwhile time spent. It's not a masterpiece or a superb lost gem but its plot, writing and acting are all solid and for a super low budget film it has some beautiful sets and costumes, as if everyone connected to the film was trying to make something memorable. And if you've never seen that powerful bear of an actor Edward Arnold at work, this one is a good place to start. His crisp and dominant speaking voice and his burly presence always tend to dominate any film he's in, be it comedy, tragedy or even blind detective films. He is one of our most unsung and unjustly forgotten actors and this film really should be restored if possible since it deserves your consideration. It is best enjoyed if you DON'T read anything about the plot and just let it unfold on you.
- Oct 10, 2018
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