True Confession

  • 1937
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

Carole Lombard's final film for Paramount was a charming screwball comedy that was entertaining, if lightweight. Lombard is married to MacMurray, an honest attorney who won't accept a client unless he knows full well that his charge is innocent. That kind of morality has stood him in bad stead, and he's not doing well. To help financial matters, Lombard...read more

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Carole Lombard's final film for Paramount was a charming screwball comedy that was entertaining, if lightweight. Lombard is married to MacMurray, an honest attorney who won't accept a client unless he knows full well that his charge is innocent. That kind of morality has stood him in bad

stead, and he's not doing well. To help financial matters, Lombard secures employment as the personal assistant to Murray, a rich and amorous man. Murray finds Lombard attractive and makes a pass, which she responds to with a sharp punch. He fires her and is later found murdered. Since Lombard was

the last person to be seen with him, and since they had a physical fracas, she is accused of doing him in. The evidence is so strong against her that MacMurray defends her with a justifiable homicide plea on the basis that she was protecting herself against his wolfishness. There's a trial that

brings the press flocking to the courtroom. MacMurray's tactics win the jury over and Lombard is declared innocent. Since the case is so well documented, MacMurray's phone rings off the hook with other clients seeking his counsel. As the picture continues, we soon learn that Lombard is an

inveterate liar. Barrymore, a drunken sot, comes to Lombard and says that he knows the truth of Murray's demise, and he will tell MacMurray what really happened unless she forks over some cash. MacMurray is outside the door, hears Barrymore's demands and pushes him into telling the truth. Lombard

didn't murder Murray at all (something she implied she had done). Rather, Murray was slain by Barrymore's former brother-in-law, a man who has since perished in an automobile accident. Barrymore leaves when he realizes that there is no reason for anyone to pay him any money because, after all,

Lombard was tried and declared not guilty already for a crime she did not commit. But idealistic MacMurray is livid that his own wife lied to him and implied she was guilty when she was, in fact, innocent. Since the innocence or guilt of his clients is all that matters to him, MacMurray feels that

she has betrayed him and now gets ready to say goodbye to her. To forestall that, Lombard pulls another lie out of her quiver and tells her husband that she is expecting a child. MacMurray wonders if she can tell the truth about anything at all. But love prevails, and, even though MacMurray

eventually learns that he is not about to become a father, he forgives Lombard and takes her back to his bosom. By making Lombard an unmotivated liar, the underpinning of the story is harmed, but there is so much fun to be found that audiences seemed to overlook that flaw. Edgar Kennedy, who had

spent most of his career acting and sometimes directing shorts, gets a good chance to show his wares as a dogged cop. One of the biggest laughs in the movie comes when Hattie McDaniel enters, humming the familiar "Frankie and Johnny," and casually asks MacMurray if he could handle a murder case

for her. Although Barrymore was billed third, he doesn't have much to do, but what he does do is hysterical in the role of the tippling criminologist who upsets the domestic apple cart. Usually, a courtroom scene is a culminating section of a movie. Here, it came early, and the fireworks between

MacMurray and prosecutor Hall are funny and sometimes border on broad. MacMurray and Lombard were appearing together for the fourth time. She would make only seven more films before her tragic death in 1942 in a plane crash. This was remade with Betty Hutton under the title CROSS MY HEART.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Carole Lombard's final film for Paramount was a charming screwball comedy that was entertaining, if lightweight. Lombard is married to MacMurray, an honest attorney who won't accept a client unless he knows full well that his charge is innocent. That kind… (more)

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