7.2/10
1,363
40 user 14 critic

They Won't Forget (1937)

Passed | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 9 October 1937 (USA)
A politically ambitious district attorney, unscrupulous tabloid journalists, and regional prejudice combine to charge a teacher with the murder of his student.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy (uncredited)

Writers:

Ward Greene (novel), Robert Rossen (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claude Rains ... Andy Griffin
Gloria Dickson ... Sybil Hale
Edward Norris ... Robert Hale
Otto Kruger ... Gleason
Allyn Joslyn ... Bill Brock
Lana Turner ... Mary Clay
Linda Perry ... Imogene Mayfield
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Joe Turner
Cy Kendall ... Detective Laneart
Clinton Rosemond Clinton Rosemond ... Tump Redwine
E. Alyn Warren ... Carlisle P. Buxton
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Hale (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Clifford Soubier Clifford Soubier ... Jim Timberlake
Granville Bates ... Detective Pindar
Ann Shoemaker ... Mrs. Mountford
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Storyline

A southern town is rocked by scandal when teenager Mary Clay is murdered on Confederate Decoration Day. Andrew Griffin, a small-time lawyer with political ambitions, sees the crime as his ticket to the Senate if he can find the right victim to finger for the crime. He sets out to convict Robert Hale, a transplanted northerner who was Mary's teacher at the business school where she was killed. Despite the fact that all the evidence against Hale is circumstantial, Griffin works with a ruthless reporter to create a media frenzy of prejudice and hate against the teacher. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death in the Deep South See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Based on the notorious rigged murder trial and subsequent lynching of Leo Frank, the film does not mention that Frank was Jewish, a fact that contributed more to his being tried for a murder he didn't commit, found guilty and lynched than his Northern background (although that was also a factor). The real-life victim, Mary Phagan, was only 13 years old, a far cry from Lana Turner's post-pubescent sweater girl of 16. See more »

Goofs

Anytime during the entire trial the shadow of the window is showing in the same place; behind the witness chair / over the back door of the courtroom. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Mountford: [In Memorial Day Parade open limo] The only thing that we shall see is the day when Governor Mountford becomes senator.
Governor Mountford: You musn't say that too loud. Andy Griffin is in the car behind.
Mrs. Mountford: Andy Griffin doesn't count.
Governor Mountford: In politics, my dear, everybody counts.
See more »

Connections

Version of Murder in Harlem (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night!
(1853) (uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exceptional
24 November 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

In a small Southern town celebrating Confederate Memorial Day, a young woman (Lana Turner) is murdered. Suspicion quickly falls on her Northern teacher at business school, Robert Hale (Edward Norris), whom she had a crush on. Ambitious district attorney Andy Griffin (Claude Rains) uses this as an opportunity to build a name for himself, not caring about Hale's guilt or innocence. Hale is arrested and tried but the anti-Northern sentiment running through the town guarantees his trial won't be fair.

Great role for Claude Rains, who owns every scene he's in as a remorseless politician out to further his career regardless of cost. Edward Norris (Ann Sheridan's first husband) has probably his biggest role as Robert Hale and does a fine job. Film debut of Allyn Joslyn, who plays a slimy reporter colluding with Rains. Pretty Gloria Dickson plays Hale's wife. She has a potent speech at the end. First significant role for Lana Turner. Note the tight sweater which accentuates her...attributes. This is why she was dubbed "the sweater girl" early in her career. The rest of the cast is made up of familiar faces, including Otto Kruger and Elisha Cook, Jr.

Loosely based on the real story of Leo Frank, a Jewish man accused of murdering 13 year-old Mary Phagan in Georgia. He was lynched in 1915. The story here keeps antisemitism out of it, instead making it more of a focus on the resentments and prejudices of the South towards the North. Having grown up in the South, I know these sentiments were very real for many even decades after this movie was made. This is a film that examines everything from bigotry to mob mentality and the manipulation of the public by politicians and the media. Sociologically and historically relevant, it's a powerful movie from Warner Bros. with a good cast.


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