6.8/10
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The People Against O'Hara (1951)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 September 1951 (USA)
Jim Curtayne, formerly a successful defense attorney who is now a recovering alcoholic, attempts a comeback when he defends a neighbor's son facing a homicide charge.

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Eleazar Lipsky (novel), John Monks Jr.
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... James P. Curtayne
Pat O'Brien ... Det. Vincent Ricks
Diana Lynn ... Virginia 'Ginny' Curtayne
John Hodiak ... District Attorney Louis Barra
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Sol 'Knuckles' Lanzetta
James Arness ... John Fordman 'Johnny' O'Hara
Yvette Duguay ... Mrs. Katrina Lanzetta
Jay C. Flippen ... Sven Norson
William Campbell ... Frank Korvac
Richard Anderson ... Jeff Chapman
Henry O'Neill ... Judge Keating
Arthur Shields ... Mr. O'Hara
Louise Lorimer ... Mrs. Peg O'Hara
Ann Doran ... Betty Clark, Policewoman
Emile Meyer ... Capt. Tom Mulvaney
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Storyline

Jim Curtayne, formerly a successful criminal defense attorney and currently a recovering alcoholic, has turned to civil law because of his problems with the bottle, daughter Ginny delays marrying in order to keep her dad on the straight and narrow, but when the son of neighborhood friends is accused of murder, he is lured into returning to criminal law. Complications arise as the initially overconfident Curtayne experiences lapses inn memory and judgment as well as an uncooperative client. He finds himself well over his head as he tries to reclaim his self-confidence and professional standing. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

O'HARA MIGHT BEAT MURDER - IF HIS LAWYER CAN BEAT THE BOTTLE! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le peuple accuse O'Hara See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Spencer Tracy personally got his good friend Pat O'Brien his role in this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Curtayne walks up to the bar to order a short beer, a moving shadow of the boom microphone and cables can be seen in the mirror behind the bar. See more »

Quotes

Det. Vincent Ricks: [Ricks brings in Frank Korvac] Here he is... people's witness.
District Attorney Louis Barra: [Contemptuously] People's witness? People's slob!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Super Tramp (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Your a lush Counselor, but you got a lot of guts.
7 August 2005 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** Courtroom drama in and out of the halls of justice with former high profile defense attorney James Curtayne, Spencer Tracy,handling a murder case for the first time in years. As Curtayne finds out that he just doesn't have it anymore in defending the accused. With his boss Bill Sheffield shot down in front of his building young Johnny O'Hara, James Arness,is picked up going to his parents apartment the next morning and arraigned for Sheffield's murder.

With his car identified at the murder scene and Johnny having no alibi to were he was at the time things don't look too good for the ex-con and WWII vet. Fingered by one of the notorious Korvac brothers Frankie (William Campball), who's fingerprints were found in the car, as the hit-man made Johnny's conviction for the murder of Sheiffeld a lead pipe cinch. Defense attorney Curtayne nonetheless took up the case for Johnny, pro Bono, because he knew him all his life and felt that he was innocent.

Having been away from dealing with criminal cases for years put a tremendous strain on the once brilliant defense attorney. Curtayne once successfully defended 18 murder cases in a row getting his clients off. Turning to the bottle and being drunk while handling Johnny's defense Curtayne lost his grip on the case and had assistant D.A Louis Barra ,John Hodiak, run circles around him in the courtroom and easily had Johnny convicted of murder.

Johnny himself didn't help his case at all by not revealing that he was with his girlfriend Catrina, Vetta Duguay, at the time of the Sheffield killing since she's married to big time mobster Sol "Knockles" Lanzetta,Eduardo Ciannelli. That revelation would mean curtains for both Johnn & Catrina of them if "Knockles" ever found out.

Curtayne desperately trying to get his client off the hook even went so far as to pay off a witness local stevedore Sven Norson, J.C Flippen, to change his testimony with a $500.00 personal check no less! This not only would get him disbarred but thrown behind bars. Convicted and waiting for a sentence that may well strap him into the electric chair Johnny still didn't want to bring out the fact that he was with Catrina when Sheffield was shot and killed; even when she came forward herself willing to be a witness for his defense.

It was later in the movie that Catrina unknowingly brought out the real reason for the Seffield murder and it was something that was right in front of both D.A Barra, in fact he was photographed with it. Curtayne all during the trial would not only identify the killer, or killers since by revealing it would bring them out in the open and put her life in danger.

A bit confusing at times "The People Against O'Hara" does hold together pretty well with James Curtayne risking his life in the end to save Johnny O'Hara from being executed by the state for a murder that he didn't commit. Attorney Curtayne having himself "wired" to get the goods on the real murderers had him make up for all the mistakes he made in the movie by putting his life on the line to do it.


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