Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Peter Lorre
MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (1941). Director: William Morgan.

Socialite P. Cadwallader Jones (Dennis O'
Keefe) is assigned to the district attorney's office primarily on the strength of his father's name. At first he's a first-class screw-up, but then he gets involved with some missing money, and a suspect, Hyde (Peter Lorre), who seems to be missing himself. This picture is the first of two that were based on the radio series of the same title -- there were two TV series as well -- all of which have the exact same title, which meant that I looked up Mr. District Attorney and couldn't understand why there was a completely different cast aside from O'Keefe (not even playing the same character) and Lorre was nowhere to be found. Well, of course that was the 1947 version. In any case, this picture is utterly undistinguished but for the brief appearance of Peter Lorre. O'Keefe is okay, and the supporting players include Minor Watson, Grady Sutton, Stanley Ridges, and Florence Rice. After Lorre, Helen Brown makes the best impression as Hyde's wife. Let's hope the second movie with this title was a bit better.

Verdict: Fast-paced but stupid and uninteresting. *1/2.

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