7.3/10
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37 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 »
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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

Film debut of Lana Turner. 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

Andy Griffin: Any fool can ride to glory on a helpless Negro janitor. I'm out for bigger game.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Angry Screen (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(1860) (uncredited)
Music by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Played during the opening credits
Played by the band at the Memorial Day parade
Whistled by Allyn Joslyn
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Masterly Crime Drama
11 February 2002 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A hideous crime rocks a Deep South community and those who exploited it know THEY WON'T FORGET the part they played in the shame & violence that ensued.

Of all the hard-hitting dramas produced by Warner Brothers Studio in the 1930's, this was one of the most powerful. Absolutely no holds are barred in showing the aftermath of the murder of a pretty college girl and how events took on a life of their own - crushing the innocent lives who got in the way of the town's thirst for revenge. The film starts whimsically with six ancient Confederate veterans - among them Harry Davenport, Harry Beresford & Edward McWade - on a park bench, reminiscing upon the dim past & wondering if their contributions will be remembered. Poignantly, evil is about to reemerge and the old men will soon disappear, the dead ashes of the past engulfed by the passionate flames of the present. An urgent plea against sectarian hatred & mindless violence, the film sweeps the viewer along to its ultimate shattering climax.

Claude Rains gives a knock-out performance as the local politician who sees the murder as a chance to sweep him into the State Senate. Using his considerable vocal talent - even with his somewhat bizarre idea of a Southern accent - Rains steamrollers over nearly everyone else in the cast, deftly showing his character's utter fixation on prosecuting the case.

Kudos should also be extended to Edward Norris as the Northern teacher accused of the murder; Lana Turner as the victim; Elisha Cook Jr. as her strangely nervous boyfriend; and especially Clinton Rosemond as the terrified black janitor who discovers the crime.

Although Warners is at pains at the outset to deny any connection the story might have with an actual occurrence, the film is roughly based on the notorious 1913 murder of Atlanta factory worker Mary Phagan.


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