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The Man Who Talked Too Much (1940)

Passed | | Drama | 16 July 1940 (USA)
Assistant District Attorney Stephen Forbes, an impressive orator with a long list of convictions, resigns when an innocent boy is convicted and the real murderer confesses too late. He ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Celia Farrady
J.B. Roscoe
John L. Forbes
Slug 'Canvasback' McNutt
District Attorney Dickson
Tony Spirella
Joe Garland
Gerald Wilson
E.A. Smith
Lefty Kyler
Edwin Stanley ...
District Attorney Nelson (as Ed Stanley)
Mrs. Knight (scenes deleted)


Assistant District Attorney Stephen Forbes, an impressive orator with a long list of convictions, resigns when an innocent boy is convicted and the real murderer confesses too late. He opens a cheap law office and his secretary Joan Reed goes with him. Business is bad until he ties up with J.B. Roscoe, the contact man between city hall and the underworld. Forbes moves to a swanky office and adds two people to his staff - his younger brother John, who he helped through law school, and Celia Farraday. Celia helps John win his first case and the two fall in love. John realizes his brother's firm isn't honest and wants to break the underworld contact. He opens Steve's safe for federal authorities hunting evidence against Roscoe. But the latter plants enough circumstantial evidence against John that the latter is convicted of murder and sent to death row. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

16 July 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Lawyer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Some cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names, if any): Frank Bruno (Griswold), Glen Cavender (Prisoner), Alan Davis (Whitey), Eddie Foster (Weinstein), George Kirby, (Roscoe's butler), Vera Lewis, George Reeves (Hotel clerk), Jack Richardson (Prisoner) and Cliff Saum (Prisoner). Susan Peters is also supposed to be in this film, but she was not seen either. See more »


Version of Illegal (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

a remake, but if you miss this, there was another remake later
21 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

Boy, once Warner Brothers got their hands on a script, they remade it until the type faded from the page.

"The Man Who Talked Too Much" is a 1940 film that is a remake of a 1932 film, "The Mouthpiece" starring Warren William. I haven't actually seen "The Mouthpiece," and the trivia here says that this script wasn't completed at the time of production, so I'm assuming this is a reworking. In 1955, this movie was remade as "Illegal" starring Edgar G. Robinson, which I saw and liked, with the exception of one plot hole.

The basic story is this: A district attorney, Steven Forbes (George Brent) sends an innocent man to the gas chamber, quits, and becomes a defense attorney. He has a hard time making ends meet until he becomes an attorney for the mob. Once he hits the big time as a mob lawyer, he hires an assistant, Celia, and his brother John. John (William Lundigan) and Celia (Brenda Marshall) fall in love. John is concerned about the honesty of the firm, but his efforts to correct the situation get him into big trouble.

Though the basic premise is the same in each story, in "Illegal," the brother business is changed and the person in trouble is his assistant, played by Nina Foch.

This is an okay story. Despite the holes in "Illegal," I liked it better, Robinson being a stronger actor than George Brent.

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