- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The post from Vets Day 2014 is precise
- Jeff Boston
I could not agree with it more. Good message here, but nothing more. Like the victim's bro says throughout the film, "we know how it's gonna end." Even so, I thought it would be better. Leroy was quite the director over a long period [Little Caesar, Random Harvest, No Time For Sergeants). Impressive work, like this film in 1937 (as Ben M stated before last night's showing, the National Board of Review placed it in that year's Top 10. However, the main attraction now is the last 15 minutes (still good) and the first 15, because they include Lana Turner - as a brunette - in her first role. Claude Rains plays Prosecutor Andy Griffin [so similar to that of the real name of the future TV lawman and (later) lawyer]. Most of the great Claude's courtroom speeches are over the top, and there's way too many insincere sounding outbursts from the courtroom crowd. Elisha Cook was way too excited way too much, as if he was envisioning Lana Turner with each utterance, and almost all the scenes with the janitor are cringe-worthy nowadays. I suspect most of the audience thought 70 years ago what is obvious today: no one in this film is 3-dimensional, except Kruger, the teacher's wife, and (especially) Turner, the "Sweater Girl."
Claude Rains Is On Target !
- Don Riley
Claude Rains is totally believable in the part of a Politically motivated D.A. He's of "Superstar Status", truly wonderful. Elisha Cook Jr. (Early) .........so raw compared to his later "George" in "The Killing". Yet, he is dynamic and memorable, here. I found this engrossing and poetic.
they won't forget
- kevin sellers
The kind of movie Sam Goldwyn had in mind when he said "You want to send a message? Use Western Union." In other words, it's a high school civics lesson masquerading as a film. It's the kind of over the top, preachy, caricatured, political commentary that has plagued Hollywood from Birth Of A Nation all the way down to the teleplays of Aaron Sorkin. And what makes it even more frustrating is that three of the principals, Claude Raines, director Mervin Le Roy and co writer Robert Rossen have all done better work in this particular genre. Raines' corrupt senator in Mr. Smith is as nuanced and layered as his ambitious district attorney in this film is your standard redneck demagogue. Obviously I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang is a better LeRoy film on the theme of injustice than this one and Rossen went on to direct All The King's Men, which is to this film as, to use a Southern analogy, Jack Daniels is to Mountain Dew. Give it a C for its good intentions. P.S. That young Lana Turner sure is hot!
Classic Liberal Fare
Astonishingly cynical, hard-hitting entry from Warner's in the late '30s, and even within the Hayes Era limitations, a gripping, frank and often subversively suggestive, no-nonsense courtroom/social drama. Inspired by the Mary Phagan - Leo Frank murder case and from a book that apparently was flatly prejudiced itself against the South, the film centers around an unnamed Southern city in an unnamed Southern state, where a trickle of circumstantial evidence in the murder of a girl pointing towards a newcomer, New York City-born teacher gets him arrested, tried, convicted, commuted, and lynched. One can tick off by the fingers the use of some of the smarter, if now too familiar, 1930s tricks of the trade of the 'serious' film: the script foreshadowing, the increasingly frantic wife, the pompous, ingratiating scene stealing from Claude Raines, the occasional speechifying. All the same, the overall impact is stunning as the greased wheels of injustice move on and crush the defendant: even so, the film neatly sidesteps the identity of the murderer, and the viewer is left wondering the guilt or innocence of just about everybody involved. And, yes, in its way, THEY WON'T FORGET heralded another cultural event: the birth of the 'sweater girl.' Lana Turner, in her film debut, does a passable acting job as the murder victim, but its her 8 second walk (not unlike, in audience impact, Marilyn Monroe's walk away from the camera in NIAGARA) in a short-sleeved "sweater", her ample bust bouncing with the excitement of youth and energy, that grabbed audience imagination. Worth seeing even today for the drama, memorable for the script and impact, and Hollywood history for those irreplaceable 8 seconds of star-making power.
They Won't Forget
- Mark Sutch
They Won't Forget (1937)
- James Higgins
88/100. Wow, what a powerful story and so very far ahead of it's time. A very unusual film to come out of 1937. I could see it being made 10 years later, or in the 1960's perhaps. Impressive direction by Mervyn LeRoy, Claude Rains is just amazing and gives a very strong performance. Excellent style, superb screenplay. The film creates such a vivid and intense atmosphere and it is so thought provoking. Notable also for the early appearances of Lana Turner and Elisha Cook Jr., both of whom are very memorable. The film is very engrossing throughout and quite unforgettable. I very ignored classic that surprisingly doesn't have more of a following.
Leo Frank Case (Part II)
This is a continuation of my prior review and focuses more directly on the movie. As for the movie it is first rate, accept for the fact that it soft peddles the Jewish angle and fails to identify the real murderer. Little known Edward Norris is excellent in the role of the Leo Frank character. And also good are Gloria Dickson as his wife, Allan Joslyn as a reporter who fans the flames of hatred and Trevor Bardette as the loathsome and malevolent brother of the murder victim who is portrayed by Lana Turner in her screen debut. The English Claude Rains is extremely good as the southern prosecuting attorney who ignores the facts and convicts an innocent man to further his political ambitions.The film attempts to show the poverty, the lingering effects of the Civil War(then more close in time to the actual events than WWII is to current times)and the humiliation and demasculinization imposed upon the south by the victorious north as contributing factors in the anger that permeates the region and the movie. The actual prosecuting attorney, Hugh Dorsey, rode this conviction to two terms as the Governor of Georgia commencing in 1917.
The Leo Frank Case (Part I)
This movie is a fictional version of the Leo Frank case of 1913 in which an innocent Jewish man was lynched for the rape and murder of a white Christian girl by the name of Mary Phagan, who worked at a pencil factory where Frank was a manager. In the movie the Frank character is 'politely' identified as a northerner. Ironically Frank was convicted on the testimony of a black man by the name of Jim Conley, who had committed the actual crime. The trial and newspaper accounts of it were drenched with anti-Semitic invective. After the conviction Leo Frank was kidnapped from prison and lynched. Anti-Semitic riots erupted throughout the south in the wake of the trial, causing many Jews to flee the region, decimating what had once been a thriving Jewish community throughout the south.This led to a revival of the Klan in the region and the founding of the Anti-Defamation League. Jim Conley who committed the actual vicious crime was never charged and lived until about age 75, dieing of natural causes in 1962. After more than 70 years Frank received a posthumous pardon from the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles in 1986. The actual facts of the case were portrayed in a 1988 televison mini-series that starred Jack Lemmon, along with Kevin Spacey, Peter Gallagher and Charles Dutton as Jim Conley.
this is the movie where lana turner was tag the sweater girl and became a star. when sehe walk down that street nobody forgot lana turner. by the way was there anyone else in the moveie?
LANA TURNER HAS ARRIVED!
"THEY WON'T FORGET" IS A FILM ABOUT COURTROOM INJUSTICE IN A SMALL SOUTHERN TOWN. THE MOVIE STARS CLAUDE RAINS AS THE TOWNS DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WHO MUST DECIDE BETWEEN ENFORCING THE LAW OR FURTHERING HIS ON POLITICAL CAREER. CAUGHT UP IN A MURDER TRIAL, HE THEN DECIDES TO GO WITH HIS CAREER, AND IN DOING SO BRINGS A RACIAL ANGLE INTO THE COURTROOM. EVENTUALLY, THE TOWNSPEOPLE DECIDE TO TAKE JUSTICE INTO THEIR ON HANDS, ALL TO AVENGE THE DEATH OF A YOUNG GIRL (LANA TURNER). THIS IS A PRETTY GOOD MOVIE, AND CLAUDE RAINS IS VERY GOOD AS THE SMALL TOWN D.A.. HOWEVER, LANA TURNER (IN ONE OF HER FIRST FILMS) STEALS THIS MOVIE IN HER BRIEF ROLE AS THE MURDERED YOUNG GIRL. THE SCENE WHERE SHE WALKS DOWN THE STREET BROUGHT LANA A LOT OF ATTENTION WHEN THIS MOVIE CAME OUT, AND SOON SHE WOULD BE OFF TO MUCH BIGGER THINGS AT MGM. THIS IS A MOVIE WORTH WATCHING, AND A MUST SEE FOR LANA TURNER FANS!