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The Law in Her Hands (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 16 May 1936 (USA)
Novice attorneys Mary and 'Dot' open their own practice, confident that their futures looks bright. But after months of rising debt and falling income, Mary stumbles into the employ of ... See full summary »


William Clemens


George Bricker (screenplay), Luci Ward (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Margaret Lindsay ... Mary Wentworth
Glenda Farrell ... Dorothy 'Dot' Davis
Warren Hull ... Asst. Dist. Atty. Robert Mitchell
Lyle Talbot ... Frank 'Legs' Gordon
Eddie Acuff ... Eddie O'Malley
Dick Purcell ... Marty
Al Shean ... Franz
Addison Richards ... William McGuire
Joseph Crehan ... Dist. Atty. Thomas Mallon
Matty Fain Matty Fain ... Augie Simelli (henchman #1)
Milton Kibbee ... Herman Sturm (as Milt Kibbee)
Eddie Shubert ... Harry Morton


Novice attorneys Mary and 'Dot' open their own practice, confident that their futures looks bright. But after months of rising debt and falling income, Mary stumbles into the employ of racketeer Frank Gordon. Financial worries behind them, Mary and 'Dot' start representing the dregs of Morgan's society. But will Mary's conscience--not to mention the intervention of her D.A. boyfriend--allow her to continue? Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama








Release Date:

16 May 1936 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The $150 per year membership in the "Restuarant Owners' Benevolent Association" would be the equivalent of $2,550 in 2016. See more »


When the Assistant D.A. introduces the photograph in court to prove the defendant/racketeer was present in The Bohemian Cafe as both leading characters and the restaurant owner testified he was, trying to extort a $150 protection fee/membership in the Benevolent Association, the photograph clearly shows a man sitting in a chair at a table in the back corner. He also was briefly seen the day of the extortion attempt with another man in that back corner, before the photograph was taken. However, when the photographer actually snapped the photo, and the flash bulbs exploded, the men at the table were gone, and the chair on the right side of the table, by the door, is empty. See more »


I'd Rather Listen to Your Eyes
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the opening photo credits
Also played when Bob proposes to Mary
Also played when Frank Gordon and Bob are at Mary's apartment, and at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

A dated women-as-lawyers movie where the legal profession takes a bashing.
17 December 1998 | by Arthur HausnerSee all my reviews

I had a hard time accepting the wise-cracking Glenda Farrell as a lawyer, and I suppose the writers did too. She's Margaret Lindsay's partner but never does any lawyering, and is there mostly for comedy. So is Eddie Acuff, their process server who is always bandaged after being beaten by the party he served, in a running gag. Perhaps I am a bit naive, but I was put off by the tricks the lawyers pulled to win their cases. We see Robert Emmett Keane plant a pint of whiskey in a coat pocket to cause Lindsay to lose a case, which teaches her to play a few tricks herself. She gets a phony mother to sit by a gangster client and plays on the sympathy of one juror, who causes a hung jury. Worse, while Farrell distracts the turnkey, she creates a phony photograph, in the prison cell no less, using lipstick on a client to simulated blood, in order to invalidate his confession. These acts are not only unethical, but also illegal. Of course, at the time she was working for racketeer Lyle Talbot, and she does try to quit when he faces charges of poisoning seven children by accident. All Talbot was trying to do was scare the milk producers into joining his "protective association." After Talbot murders a witness and wounds Assistant District Attorney Warren Hull, who saw him do it, he forces Lindsay to defend him by threatening her and Hull, whom she loves. But Lindsay still has a bag of tricks to use in his trial.

The performances are average, with no one actor particularly standing out. The 1930's male mentality about marriage is also present: Hull wants to marry Lindsay only if she quits being a lawyer and settles down to run his household.

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