Mr. District Attorney


1h 21m 1947

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the radio series Mr. District Attorney created by Phillips H. Lord (3 Apr 1939--1951).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,074ft

Synopsis

The day after an escaped convict murders a woman in her apartment, a newspaper prints a picture of Marcia Davenport on its front page and mistakenly reports that she was the victim. Marcia, the girl friend and personal secretary of crime boss James Randolph, complains about the error to District Attorney Craig Warren, but Craig doubts her credibility. Although Marcia insists that she was rightly acquitted of murder in a sensational trial in Kansas City years earlier, Craig later asks his investigator, Harrington, to get more information about her past. A short time later, Craig meets Steve Bennett, an ethical lawyer who has just resigned from his law firm after refusing to work with Longfield, a dishonest lawyer who is defending one of Randolph's corrupt associates. When Craig hires Steve and files a criminal negligence lawsuit against Longfield, Randolph tries to distance himself from the suit by forcing Longfield to resign. Marcia, who is only interested in Randolph for his money, decides to use her charms to help Randolph fight off the growing number of lawsuits that are threatening his illegal enterprises. She easily wins Steve's confidences, and soon uses her privileged position to spy on his activities and thwart his investigation. One day, Marcia discovers that Steve has found a witness who will testify against Longfield, and reports the finding to Randolph. A short time later, the witness mysteriously disappears, and the district attorney's office suffers a great embarrassment in court. No sooner does Craig learn that Steve has been dating Marcia that he begins to suspect that Marcia is supplying Randolph with confidential information about the investigation. Steve falls more deeply in love with Marcia, and is angered when Craig suggests that his romance is interfering with his work. Craig later pays a private visit to Marcia, and tells her that he has learned more about her involvement in the Kansas City murder. He also threatens to expose her past to Steve unless she ends the relationship immediately. Marcia abides by Craig's demand, but soon after she marries Randolph, Steve learns the truth about the arrangement and resigns. While Craig continues to build his case against Randolph, Randolph hires Steve to be his lawyer. Once inside Randolph's criminal world, Steve comes to suspect that Marcia is a hardened criminal herself. His suspicions are confirmed when Marcia kills Randolph and his associate Berotti. When Steve accuses Marcia of murder and confronts her with evidence of her guilt, she desperately begs him to run away with her. Steve refuses, and Marcia accidentally falls to her death while attempting to kill him.

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the radio series Mr. District Attorney created by Phillips H. Lord (3 Apr 1939--1951).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,074ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film marked the first post-war directorial assignment for Robert B. Sinclair. A Los Angeles Times news item dated February 18, 1946 claimed that Tallulah Bankhead was "on the verge" of signing on to the film, and also reported that the producers hoped to sign Edward G. Robinson as soon as he finished reading the script. Hollywood Reporter production charts list Henry Freulich as the film's photographer, although Bert Glennon is credited onscreen. An August 1946 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that the film was shot primarily at General Service Studios due to a shortage of space at the Columbia soundstages. According to Hollywood Reporter, the street sequences were shot at the Columbia Ranch in Burbank, CA. Various news items indicate that producer Sam Bischoff intended this to be the first in a series of seven features based on Phillips H. Lord's radio program, Mr. District Attorney, which aired on the NBC network; however, no additional films were made. Republic also intended to produce a series based on Lord's radio program, but completed only two features, Mr. District Attorney (which also starred Dennis O'Keefe in the title role) and Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case (see entries above and below), both released in 1941. A proposed third entry in the Republic series was eventually retitled Secrets of the Underground and was not advertized as an entry, although it featured the character "P. Cadwallader Jones," the name of the original "Mr. District Attorney." A television adaptation of Lord's long-running radio series, also titled Mr. District Attorney, aired on NBC from October 1, 1951 to June 23, 1954 and in syndication in 1954. The television series featured Paul Garrett, then David Brian in the title role.