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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.
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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:

Against sinister forces that prey on youth! 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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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

According to Director John Sturges' inputs for the book of Emmanuel Laborie "Sturges: a filmmaker's story", John Sturges said he was frightened directing Spencer Tracy, who was a living legend. At the beginning, he was just stuck on the storyboard and choosing good camera angles, and did not dare to interfere in Tracy's way of acting. Until the day Tracy rehearsed a scene, while Sturges was looking at it through the eye-piece of the camera, suddenly took off his jacket and hung it on the camera lens blocking up Sturges' view. Then Tracy took Sturges aside and told "John, can you stop only worrying about your camera and take care about the actors, because the camera is only a hungry machine, and it will not be satisfied if you feed it with junk food". 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

Postal Clerk: Oh, you're an attorney?
James P. Curtayne: Yeah.
Postal Clerk: Then you should know about a court order.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spencer Tracy uplifts a familiar plot
4 September 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

An excellent performance by Spencer Tracy in "The People Against O'Hara" lifts this all too familiar plot line to a different level. Tracy is an alcoholic who, for the sake of his health and sobriety, becomes a civil attorney, only to be drawn back into criminal work when neighborhood friends need him to defend their son. The son is played by a pre-Gunsmoke, blond James Arness, and it was a pleasure to see him do something besides the one-note Matt Dillon. Diana Lynn does an excellent job as Tracy's protective daughter, and a pathetically young Richard Anderson is her patient fiancé.

Tracy's performance drives the film, which is really just an excuse for a character study, and who better to essay it. He beautifully shows the man's torment and loss of abilities. The ending is tense and suspenseful.

There is a fine cast, including the above, Pat O'Brien John Hodiak, Eduardo Cianelli, and William Campbell (who in real life was for a time married to Judith Exner, the woman who went public with her affair with JFK).

I think Spencer Tracy is always worth watching, and this film is no exception.


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