Am I Guilty?


1h 11m 1940

Film Details

Also Known As
Free Clinic
Release Date
Jan 1940
Premiere Information
Harlem opening: 27 Sep 1940
Production Company
Supreme Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Supreme Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m

Synopsis

As a fire rages through the Parks Manufacturing Company, injured workmen are taken to the company clinic, which is run by Dr. James Dunbar and his nurse, Joan Freeman. The clinic receives a visit by the notorious Dr. Fairchild, who is so impressed with James's surgical skills, that he offers him work at his clinic when Mr. Parks announces the closure of the company. James rejects Fairchild's generous offer, however, and tells him that he prefers to start his own clinic in the poor part of town, where people are without basic medical care. Time passes, and James and Joan, with whom he has fallen in love, are running their own clinic in a poor neighborhood. Although the clinic has a hard time paying its bills, James hires John D. Jones to work for him. The clinic soon becomes a regular haunt for Marcella, a young girl who is constantly getting injured. When one of gangster "Trigger" Bennett's men is injured in a payroll robbery, Bennett seeks the services of Dr. Freeman, Joan's father, who is in town for a visit. Because Dr. Freeman is drunk and cannot attend to the gangster's injury, Bennett forces James to accompany him to the gangster's hideout to administer aid. Although he refuses Bennett's payment for completing a successful operation on the injured man, James later receives a gift of $5,000 from an anonymous donor through his attorney, Henry Stafford. James and Joan use the money to make improvements on their clinic. Soon after learning that the money came from Bennett, James is abducted by the gangsters and forced to accompany them on robberies in other towns. After his stint as the gangsters' personal physician, James returns to his clinic, but he is unhappy about his association with the thugs. Just as James is about to operate on Marcella's fractured skull, the gangsters appear again and demand that he operate on Bennett, who has been shot. Bennett dies during the operation, but James rushes back to his clinic in time to save Marcella's life. In the meantime, Bennett's men are arrested and sentenced to prison. James turns himself in, and because of his connection to the gangsters, he is sentenced to one to ten years in prison, along with Stafford and Dr. Freeman.

Film Details

Also Known As
Free Clinic
Release Date
Jan 1940
Premiere Information
Harlem opening: 27 Sep 1940
Production Company
Supreme Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Supreme Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

A working title for this film was Free Clinic. According to the Variety review, this film marked "an entirely new concept" in black films in its use of an adult story rather than a "low" comedy, and because its production was on a par with the "B product" of the major studios. Although the picture was well-received by the Harlem audiences, Variety speculated that it might not perform well with the "more poorly educated negros of the South." Am I Guilty? marked Supreme Pictures' entry into the field of black-cast films; the company was previously associated with westerns. According to modern sources, Supreme planned to film four black-cast pictures annually. Six-year-old Marcella Moreland was the daughter of prominent black comedian Mantan Moreland. According to modern sources, the film was re-released in the late 1940s by Toddy Pictures under the title Racket Doctor.