State's Attorney

  • 1932
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

In this entertaining though improbable courtroom drama, John Barrymore plays a young man who becomes a lawyer after leaving reform school. He becomes the attorney for William Boyd, a powerful underworld figure and a former classmate of Barrymore from reform school. Barrymore eventually turns over a new leaf, leaving Boyd and working his way up to the state's...read more

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In this entertaining though improbable courtroom drama, John Barrymore plays a young man who becomes a lawyer after leaving reform school. He becomes the attorney for William Boyd, a powerful underworld figure and a former classmate of Barrymore from reform school. Barrymore eventually

turns over a new leaf, leaving Boyd and working his way up to the state's attorney's office, where he becomes an assistant DA. He is assigned to go after Boyd on gambling and murder charges, and in the course of the investigation meets Helen Twelvetrees, who is on trial through a misunderstanding

of her presence at one of Boyd's gambling joints. Eventually Barrymore convicts Boyd, getting him the death penalty, but the attorney's past is exposed in the process. Barrymore graciously resigns from office but with Twelvetrees by his side the future looks bright.

In his first film at RKO, Barrymore fairly chews up the scenery then spits it out with his lively histrionics. Though the script (written especially for the actor by his good friend Gene Fowler) is pure fabrication, George Archainbaud's direction, coupled with his star's performance, weaves an

interesting tale. This originally was to be directed by cowriter Rowland Brown, but he was replaced twice: first by Irving Pichel, then by Archainbaud. In 1937, this film was remade as CRIMINAL LAWYER with Lee Tracy in the Barrymore role.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: In this entertaining though improbable courtroom drama, John Barrymore plays a young man who becomes a lawyer after leaving reform school. He becomes the attorney for William Boyd, a powerful underworld figure and a former classmate of Barrymore from refor… (more)

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