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Sued for Libel

Sued for Libel(1939)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Steve Lonegan, the director of a radio dramatization of current events, is slapped with a libel suit when he mistakenly broadcasts that Albert Pomeroy, a prominent broker, has been found guilty of the murder of his partner, Edward Webster, when in reality, Pomeroy has been acquitted of the crime. Convinced that Pomeroy is guilty, Steve determines to avert the suit by launching his own investigation. In his crusade, Steve is joined by Smiley Dugan and Maggie Shane, the two reporters who inadvertently fed Steve the wrong verdict. When Maggie remembers that Pomeroy's secretary, Stella Trent, had committed suicide several years earlier, Steve telephones James Bailer, the doctor on the Trent case. By the time Maggie and Steve arrive at Bailer's office however, the doctor has been murdered. Bailer's death motivates the reopening of the Trent suicide case. While questioning Stella's mother, Steve begins to suspect a romantic involvement between Stella and Pomeroy, and to force Pomeroy's hand, Steve stages a radio reenactment of Stella's diary. Soon afterward, Pomeroy's attorney, Walsh, visits the radio station with information that Webster's wife Muriel, who had testified to Pomeroy's innocence, now admits that he killed her husband. For protection, Walsh sends Muriel to his lodge in the mountains, accompanied by Maggie, and during the drive, Muriel tells Maggie that she lied to protect her husband's investments in Pomeroy's brokerage firm. To pressure Pomeroy, Steve announces that Stella's murderer will be arrested that night, prompting Pomeroy to follow Muriel to the mountains. Meanwhile, at the lodge, Maggie discovers that Muriel has lied about her relationship with Bailer, and confronted with her deception, Muriel admits to commiting all the murders. At that moment, Pomeroy appears and accuses Muriel of framing him. In the ensuing struggle, Muriel escapes and runs outside just as Steve and Smiley arrive. Muriel tells the unwitting Steve that Pomeroy is inside, and after she insists they telephone the police, the pair drives off. To warn Steve of the danger, Maggie broadcasts Muriel's guilt over the radio, prompting Muriel to wrestle with Steve for control of the car. As the car careens over a cliff Steve jumps to safety while Muriel plunges to her death. With the real murderer unmasked, Pomeroy drops his libel suit, and Steve and Maggie decide to marry.