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Criminal Lawyer (1937)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 29 January 1937 (USA)
Barry Brandon, a criminal lawyer, visits the night club of Denny Larkin, his primary client, with Betty Walker, a spoiled society girl. The police raid the club and Brandon pleads that the ... See full summary »

Directors:

Christy Cabanne, Edward Killy (uncredited)

Writers:

G.V. Atwater (screen play), Thomas Lennon (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lee Tracy ... Brandon
Margot Grahame ... Madge Carter
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Larkin
Erik Rhodes ... Bandini
Betty Lawford ... Betty Walker
Frank M. Thomas ... William Walker
Wilfred Lucas ... Brandon's Assistant
William Stack William Stack ... District Attorney Hopkins
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Storyline

Barry Brandon, a criminal lawyer, visits the night club of Denny Larkin, his primary client, with Betty Walker, a spoiled society girl. The police raid the club and Brandon pleads that the whole group is guilty, just to get even with Larkin for a rebuke. On the same night in court, Madge Carter is on trial for disorderly conduct, and Brandon volunteers to defend her, and proves the case against her if a frame-up. Finding that she is penniless, Brandon hires her as his secretary, and falls in love with her. Brandon is appointed district attorney and has ambitions of becoming the state governor. Having dinner at Betty's home, she maneuvers him, while he is drunk, into marrying her. Later, Madge is a witness when Larkin shoots down a fellow gangster. By threatening Brandon's life, he forces her to commit perjury at his trial, and say he fired in self-defense. Brandon, the prosecuting attorney (who has had his marriage to Betty annulled) knows she is lying but doesn't know why. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Cunningly he trapped his victims with legal treachery...but he couldn't wiggle out of the trap he fell into! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gentlemen of New York See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The $2,350 fine Larkin has to pay in night court would equate to over $47,000 in 2018. See more »

Goofs

When Madge and Betty are exchanging catty remarks in Brandon's office, the item Madge is holding changes between a folder and a flip-open notebook or calendar between shots. See more »

Quotes

William Walker: Well, it's now in order to drink a toast or two to our next governor. What'll it be, Barry?
Brandon: Brandy Smash!
William Walker: Well, if our next governor is drinking Brandy Smash, that's what we'll all drink!
See more »

Connections

Remake of State's Attorney (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Tonight, Lover, Tonight
(1937)
Music by Jack Stern
Lyrics by Harry Tobias
Played on piano and sung by Erik Rhodes (uncredited) at the party
Reprised a cappella by him later
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very typical sort of effort for Lee Tracy
24 September 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

During much of his career, Lee Tracy played one of two basic characters...the snappy talking newspaper man or a snappy talking lawyer. This is one of his lawyer films and the part seems like it was written with him (or perhaps Warren William) in mind.

In this story, Brandon (Tracy) is a defense lawyer whose only concern seems to be winning cases. One of his biggest and most influential clients is Larkin (Eduardo Ciannelli) and he assumes he knows and understands Brandon. He thinks Brandon is evil...and is more than willing to do whatever this mobster tells him to do. This isn't exactly the case...for Brandon it's all about winning. So, when Larkin pulls some strings and gets him appointed as the Assistant District Attorney (soon to become the DA), he thinks Brandon will throw cases at Larkin's request. But Brandon takes to this job like his last...and wins case after case and his main focus is setting himself up to become the state's next governor. So, when a case comes involving Larkin as the defendant, Larkin is sure the case will be botched....and Brandon might just do it. Or, could he be willing, for the first time, to actually do something because it's the right thing?

This is a very good film and Tracy and Ciannelli make it that way. The film has two female leads...though neither is especially strong nor well written. Instead, the film is all about these two inflexible men and their date with destiny. Well worth seeing...well directed and exciting. In fact, I only saw one thing I hated in the film and that was seeing Brandon cross examining a witness and badgering her until he confesses in front of the entire court her guilt...which ONLY happens on "Perry Mason" and in movies!


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