A young lawyer is elected mayor of the city and promises to rid it of the corruption it's famous for. The problem is that most of the corruption he's vowed to eliminate is caused by the croo... Read allA young lawyer is elected mayor of the city and promises to rid it of the corruption it's famous for. The problem is that most of the corruption he's vowed to eliminate is caused by the crooked political machine that helped elect him.A young lawyer is elected mayor of the city and promises to rid it of the corruption it's famous for. The problem is that most of the corruption he's vowed to eliminate is caused by the crooked political machine that helped elect him.
Tired Story Elements Point To A Decision Not To Provide Anything Inventive.
As this film opens, a quotation attributed to Cicero is displayed within the very first frame: "He that violates his oath profanes the divinity of faith itself". These pungent words are actually etched in stone above an entry alcove at the Los Angeles City Hall, an edifice completed in 1928, five years before this melodrama was filmed upon a studio set in nearby Hollywood, and appears to indicate that a seriously creative effort may be in the offing. Such is not the case, however, this piece being constructed in predictable grooves while it tells its tale of a political maverick whose own party hopes to suppress his essays at reform. He is the iconoclast Tim Butler (Preston Foster), an attorney who is backed in his attempt to be elected mayor of a large city by his party's nabobs, in particular a Mr. Gorman (Tully Marshall) to whose daughter Sylvia (Natalie Moorhead) Tim has become affianced, a condition that greatly perturbs Tim's secretary Ellen (Evalyn Knapp) who, in typically reach-me-down movie fashion, dotes upon him. Soon after he is elected, Tim begins a determined undertaking to reduce the pernicious power of his city's political hacks, although he thereby intimidates his former sponsors. The actual party boss is one Regan (Warner Richmond) who is at the centre of a plot to entangle Butler in apparent immoral conduct with a prostitute, thereupon causing Tim to lose face, along with his mayoral position. Following Regan's murder, by an unknown gun-wielding killer, local newspapers develop various bogus reasons, primarily of revenge, to pin the homicide upon the ex-mayor, and following an obviously fixed trial, he is sentenced to life imprisonment, but after several other prominent corrupt officials are also gunned down, and with the same M.O. as was Regan, The Forces of Good begin working against The Forces of Evil to free the framed prisoner. This fairly early sound era film has been released upon an Alpha Entertainment DVD, and offers adequate visual and audio quality, although the original design of the piece is weakened by overzealous and poorly accomplished cutting, especially of those scenes depicting the railroading of Butler on a charge of public immorality. The script, by neophyte director Charles Roberts, is built upon a bromidic foundation and a complement of able acting talent is squandered to make a series of hackneyed episodes. Between the clichéd scenario and an extremely low budget, the largely accomplished cast, most of whom are well up to form, cannot lift the film above a state of mediocrity. Acting laurels go to Knapp, whose sprightly playing as Butler's secretary is as artless as one might desire. Strong turns are additionally contributed by Mischa Auer and Foster.
- Mar 26, 2009
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content