Midnight Court


1h 3m 1937
Midnight Court

Brief Synopsis

A district attorney sells out to the mob until he falls for an honest girl.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
Justice After Dark
Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Mar 6, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Down-and-out Victor Shanley, a former district attorney, is arrested during a raid of a skid row dive. He is arraigned in the night court where his former wife, Carol O'Neil, is a court reporter. After he gives a long speech against people who support corruption in government, Vic passes out. Carol takes him home and cleans him up. She tells him he drinks because he is a coward who is afraid to face defeat. Vic responds that since being on the side of right does not pay, he plans to work for criminal boss Al Kruger and become a prosperous criminal attorney. Sobered up, Vic successfully defends Bob Terrill, a young man who became an auto thief for Kruger because of poverty. Vic then tricks the star witness in a murder trial and gains an acquittal. In spite of his continuing success, he has not lost all interest in doing good deeds. He offers to pay Bob's tuition so that he can study aeronautical engineering and end his life as a thief. Although Vic cautions him not to tell anyone of his plans, Bob tells Kruger, who arranges for Bob to be killed. When Carol learns of Bob's death, she tells Vic he is responsible. Believing that she is correct, Vic quits his job. When Kruger's stolen car ring is raided, Vic is made special prosecutor. He bluffs the criminals by claiming that Bob kept a record of the numbers of the cars he painted. When it appears that Vic is winning in court, the gangsters pull their guns and are killed by the police. Now that he has "gone straight," Vic asks Carol to come back and she agrees.

Film Details

Also Known As
Justice After Dark
Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Mar 6, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Articles

Midnight Court -


Victor Shanley (John Litel) has had enough. As a district attorney who got beaten down into alcoholism by the futile fight against corruption, he doesn't see the point of staying on the straight and narrow any more. But his devoted ex-wife (and court reporter) Carol (Ann Dvorak) knows that's just the liquor talking. When Victor gets wrapped up in a car theft ring, will his goodness win out over his cynicism? Was Carol right about him--or is he just another sap ready to take a fall for the criminal underworld? Presented to audiences as a voyeuristic slice-of-life into how the bottom feeders live, this movie was one of Dvorak's final for Warner Brothers. In retaliation for bringing lawsuits against them, Warners had not given her work for a year, but she used the time to catch up on rest and gain back the weight she'd lost from frayed nerves. Given the plum role and star billing she received for this picture, it seems as though fences were temporarily mended, were it not for the strikingly bizarre "dresses" her character's made to wear.

By Violet LeVoit
Midnight Court -

Midnight Court -

Victor Shanley (John Litel) has had enough. As a district attorney who got beaten down into alcoholism by the futile fight against corruption, he doesn't see the point of staying on the straight and narrow any more. But his devoted ex-wife (and court reporter) Carol (Ann Dvorak) knows that's just the liquor talking. When Victor gets wrapped up in a car theft ring, will his goodness win out over his cynicism? Was Carol right about him--or is he just another sap ready to take a fall for the criminal underworld? Presented to audiences as a voyeuristic slice-of-life into how the bottom feeders live, this movie was one of Dvorak's final for Warner Brothers. In retaliation for bringing lawsuits against them, Warners had not given her work for a year, but she used the time to catch up on rest and gain back the weight she'd lost from frayed nerves. Given the plum role and star billing she received for this picture, it seems as though fences were temporarily mended, were it not for the strikingly bizarre "dresses" her character's made to wear. By Violet LeVoit

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to Variety, Don Ryan was a Los Angeles reporter who specialized in night court. The film's working title was Justice After Dark.