The Trial Of Mary Dugan

  • 1929
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

In her first sound picture, Shearer plays a Broadway show girl accused of killing her boy friend, a rich playboy, by stabbing him with a knife. Stone, a friend of Shearer's, serves as her attorney but decides against cross-examining witnesses. Hackett, Shearer's younger brother and himself a newly appointed member of the bar, is furious with this tactic....read more

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In her first sound picture, Shearer plays a Broadway show girl accused of killing her boy friend, a rich playboy, by stabbing him with a knife. Stone, a friend of Shearer's, serves as her attorney but decides against cross-examining witnesses. Hackett, Shearer's younger brother and himself

a newly appointed member of the bar, is furious with this tactic. Stone mysteriously withdraws from defending Shearer, so Hackett takes over. Eventually it's revealed that Shearer had served as mistress to several wealthy individuals, using the money secured from each man to help finance Hackett's

education. Hackett pursues with his defense, finally proving his sister innocent when Stone is uncovered as the real killer. This tense courtroom drama works well thanks to an intelligent script and the skill of the cast. Shearer is fine as the accused woman, showing a range that improves on the

image she built up in silent films. She gives her often emotionally wrought part humanity, without once exaggerating the performance. Stone and Hackett provide good support, with Tashman and D'Armbricourt giving some nice touches in their scenes on the witness stand. The film, like so many early

talking pictures, suffers from the limitations of the new sound technology in its pacing and consequently runs a little longer than it should.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: In her first sound picture, Shearer plays a Broadway show girl accused of killing her boy friend, a rich playboy, by stabbing him with a knife. Stone, a friend of Shearer's, serves as her attorney but decides against cross-examining witnesses. Hackett, She… (more)

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