Criminal Court (1946)

criminal court 1946

To call this poorly written would be a compliment. Zero credibility. There’s no way any of it can be taken seriously. It was directed by soon to be famous Robert Wise.

Tom Conway is defense attorney Steve Barnes. He’s noted for turning the courtroom into a circus. Now he’s running for D.A. His girlfriend Georgia (Martha O’Driscoll) has taken a job as a singer in a club owned by mobster Vic Wright (Robert Armstrong).

While Georgia sings Vic and his brother Frankie (Steve Brodie) are rehearsing a not too bright henchman to give his phony story in court to get a rival falsely convicted of murder. The man’s attorney is Steve.

At the trial Steve pulls a stunt that in the real world would have him in jail. Since this is the movies he gets his client released. At a party at campaign headquarters Steve is showing movies taken of Frankie and others of Vic’s gang paying off crooked cops and councilmen.

Earlier in the day Vic called him and offers a fifty thousand dollar bribe to destroy the films and negatives. No dice. Steve’s secretary Joan spies for Vic. She’s in his office and Vic calls Stcve to come to the club. Steve sneaks out of the movie showing. Vic confronts him with a forged letter from a juror saying he accepted a bribe from Steve,. The juror can’t deny it since he died six weeks ago.

Steve slugs Vic and goes to leave. Watching it all through a secret panel is Joan. Vic pulls a gun. He and Steve struggle. The gun hits the desk and goes off killing Vic. Steve heads out. After her song is over Georgia goes to Vic’s office to keep an appointment with him. She sees the body. Having never seen a movie before she picks up the gun and screams. Frankie runs in and thinks she killed him. She takes off.

At Steve’s place the butler shows Georgia the newspaper. The headline says the coppers are looking for her on suspicion of Vic’s murder. Down at the police station Steve tells D.A.Gordon (Addison Richards) what really happened. Used to his courtroom stunts, Gordon doesn’t believe him and Georgia is booked. Of course no one gave her a paraffin test to see if she fired a gun recently.

Vic’s boss Mr.Marquette tells Joan to keep her mouth shut. Henchman Joe West calls on Steve and tells him there’s an eye witness that will clear Georgia. All he has to do is destroy the films and give up running for D.A.. Steve runs a tape recorder. Before leaving the office Joe tosses the cylinder to him. So much for tape. Now comes the unbelievable trial.

This is a waste of an hour.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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