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An Italian immigrant studying the law gets mixed up with crooks.
On the day that Jack Moreno sets up his law practice in New York's Little Italy, society girl Abbey Reid accidentally hits a neighborhood child with her car. Though the child is not hurt, Abbey feels faint after the incident, and Jack invites her to a party in his honor. As the weeks pass, Jack's practice languishes and he soon is visited by Joe "The Glut" Dwire, an underling of district ward boss William J. Grady. When Joe tells Jack that he can't survive without Grady's help, Jack refuses and says that he is his own man. When Joe later tells this to Grady, Grady decides to pressure Jack by seeing to it that he loses all of his cases. Finally realizing that he cannot survive alone, Jack decides to accept Grady's "help," and his practice soon prospers. Meanwhile, Abbey and a society admirer, Edward Spetner, attend a dinner party at which Edward's father Carter offers stock in a company called La Paz that is marketing a device that purportedly can find gold. When she becomes bored with Edward's talk on the machine, Abbey sneaks away and invites Jack out. When they meet at a Russian restaurant he likes, they begin to fall in love. The next day, unknown to Abbey or Jack, Carter Spetner goes to visit Grady, an old business acquaintance, who promises to help Spetner sell stock in La Paz. Soon, when people in the neighborhood begin buying shares, Jack becomes suspicious. When he assumes a position as assistant district attorney, which he has gotten through Grady's political help, Jack is angry that his boss, Stringer, refuses to allow him to investigate phony securities cases. A short time later, when Ice Wagon, a known criminal, is tried for first degree murder, Jack refuses to reduce the charge, thus angering Grady, who secretly decides to get rid of him. At the ward picnic, Abbey comes with Jack, who anticipates that Grady will announce that Jack is his candidate for District attorney in the next election. Instead of announcing Jack, however, Grady endorces his crony, Joseph B. Murphy. Jack then jumps up on the podium, resigns his job and announces himself as an independent ticket candidate who will expose local corruption. The crowd is against Jack, however, and only Joe and Abbey stay by him. During the campaign, hecklers and agitators disrupt all of Jack's speeches. On election day, Grady follows a "bearded man" strategy, whereby he bribes beared men to vote three times: once with full beard, once with a moustache and once clean-shaven, and Murphy wins. Abbey goes to see Jack that night and they realize they are in love, but he is despondent because he is ruined and an honest man has lost to criminals. Just then, Jack gets a telegram from the governor congratulating him on his defeat and asking him to head a unit to investigate phony securities. "The Moreno Commission" is successful, then, when Abbey learns that Jack will be investigating La Paz, she asks him to get off the case because her mother is on the board. He refuses, and she angrily leaves. At the hearings, Jack successfully uses magnets to prove that the La Paz gold machine is a scam, then leaves the commission, certain that he has lost Abbey forever. He then returns to his old neighborhood to practice law and enthusiastically goes to the Russian Restaurant when Abbey calls him to meet her there.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1937||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Sound System)||Production Co:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.|
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A Man of the People - perfect title and cast
Protagonist Jack Marino defies the stereotype of the Italian immigrant of 1937 - His idealism and integrity - a lawyer motivated to truly serve the people...