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directed by John Sturges
USA 1951

 

James Curtayne (Spencer Tracy) was once a brilliant defense attorney, saving scores from prison-time and death row. But that was before a part of him crawled inside a bottle and never crawled out. He now practices civil law…it’s safer that way. But when John O’Hara (James Arness), a kid from the neighborhood, gets hauled up on Murder One, he allows himself to get cajoled into returning to his former vocation. It’s a mistake. The DA runs circles around the alcohol addled attorney, and O’Hara now faces execution. It’s Jimmy’s worst nightmare come true. The question is, what’s he planning to do about it? A young John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven) teams up with seasoned cinema vet Tracy for this noir-tinged legal drama, and it proves a potent combo – a solid, by-the-numbers thriller rises above the machinations of plot to provide a compelling portrait of a very good, but very weak man in thrall to some very bad, very strong impulses.

***

Spencer Tracy's only venture into the noir genre finds him playing James P. Curtayne, an alcoholic criminal lawyer who is living with daughter Diana Lynn. She's essentially put her life on hold to take care of her father.

Friends from his old neighborhood ask him to defend their son, James Arness, who is being charged with a homicide during the course of a what we would now call a home invasion.

Tracy's not up to it, he's past his prime and unable to break down the perjured testimony of William Campbell who says Arness was the trigger man in the crime. He's got a sharp District Attorney in John Hodiak going against him. And he's got a client who's lying about his real whereabouts to shield someone else.

When the verdict of guilty is read against Arness in The People Against O'Hara it should be over. But not quite.

Excerpt of review from bkoganbing for imdb located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1 September 1951 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:42:00
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.44 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:29)

DVD Release Date: November 22nd, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 40

 

Comments

Here is another film noir essential that recently got released in Warner Archive Collection. The remastered transfer on this made-on-demand disc is pretty remarkable and excellent noir cinematography by John Alton comes off well.

There are a few marks here and there, but overall image is very crisp with good contrast. The mono audio is fine, although there was a slight hiss in some scenes. The trailer is included and we can highly recommend this disc to any film noir fans.

  - Gregory Meshman

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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