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  • Otto Kruger stars as a gifted criminal defense lawyer, Kent Barringer, in this well directed and fast paced crime drama. Barringer is a troubled, cynical man, who's wife left him ten years before for another man. He must now face his past when he is shocked to discover that his ex-wife was the victim of the man that he's defending for murder. This is a well plotted little budget film with an excellent cast, with MGM's usual first-rate production values. Staring along with Kruger, are old pro's like Una Merkel, Roscoe Karns and surprisingly Isabel Jewell, usually typecast as a gum chewing bimbo -- here getting to play a good girl with brains.
  • One of the shining examples of the mastery of screenwriting from the Golden Age of Hollywood, by F. Hugh Herbert (not to be confused with comic actor Hugh Herbert from the same era). Viennese-born Herbert (Sitting Pretty, The Moon is Blue, etc.) was also the President of the Screen Writer's Guild.

    In this film we experience the commanding embrace of a well-conceived story brought to resplendent life by the notable actor Otto Kruger and a fine cast. Kruger, a major Broadway star of the 1920s later became a reliable and extraordinary screen character actor.

    Today gems like this can be encountered only fleetingly on Turner Classic Movies. Worthy of study, they are not to be found on Home Video, another oversight of movie moguls who often sit on top of forgotten gold mines while churning out garbage that sustains illiteracy and decimates popular values. This is just one of hundreds for which we owe Ted Turner a debt of gratitude.
  • Otto Kruger was an excellent actor and this film was a wonderful opportunity for him to demonstrate his skills. The film begins in Kruger's swank office. He's a rich and successful attorney with very few scruples as well as a rather jaded view of life and women. To sum him up, though successful, he's a self-centered jerk.

    Into this office arrives a young woman whose father is up on murder charges. Kruger is too busy and way too egocentric to give the young woman a chance--even when he initially agrees to help her. Again and again, she's left waiting for him to get around to listening to her story. However, when he finally does, he is shocked to hear that the murder victim is actually Kruger's ex-wife who'd left him many years before! It seems that Kruger's idealism and sense of compassion left with her and all the old memories of her came flooding back. To make things worse, he learns that she was a horrid person and realizes what a waste his life has been since she left. Kruger then runs to the cemetery where she was buried--even though it was pouring down rain--and throws himself on the grave. A few days later, he turns up in the hospital suffering from the effects of exposure and nearly dies.

    During this little episode, the girl's father's case came up in court and because Kruger wasn't there, the man was easily convicted sine it was passed off to a lawyer who was unprepared. When Kruger FINALLY recovers, he feels horrible for what he'd done and vows to make things right.

    While this plot sounds a bit melodramatic (and it was), the acting and action were exceptional and the story very engaging. I really don't want to say more--it may spoil the film, but it's a nice story with a very tense ending. It's well worth a look--especially because of Kruger's terrific performance and range.
  • Not a great movie by any means. However, you will see Otto Kruger like you've never seem him before. His performance is outstanding, ond I had never been a fan of his ever, until now. See it just for him.
  • Character actor Otto Kruger (48 and looking a decade older, at least by contemporary standards) stars as a rich and successful womanizing criminal defense attorney. His latest affair is with a typical blonde pickup (Isabel Jewell) who claims her love is sincere but Kruger is indifferent and basically thinks of her as little more than a bedroom toy. Kruger is equally blas√© about the guilt or innocence of his clients and knows most of them are guilty, including his latest, painted matron Irene Franklin, "the Tiger Woman" as the tabloids call her.

    Young Irene Hervey begs for Kruger to take her father, a man falsely accused of murdering his promiscuous wife, as a client but Kruger cannot be bothered, however when he finds Hervey can be of some benefit in Franklin's case he promises to help her. After trying to renege on his word, Kruger is shocked to discover that Hervey's murdered stepmother is in fact is the old flame of his past, the woman he never got over and the root of his hardened heart. Devastated to learn of her death, Kruger goes on a bender that leaves him near death and unable to defend Hervey's father, who is ultimately sentenced to the electric chair. Sobering up, Kruger plots to trap the real killer but will there be enough time to stop the electrocution?

    This is a fairly good little melodrama done with typical MGM polish even if it's clearly a minor picture for the studio. Kruger is quite superb for most of the film, utterly unsympathetic in the first half and a sudden, effective change of character later on with splendid work as a drunk with pneumonia. Unfortunately, the last reel is pretty ridiculous (if effectively tense) and smacks more of a lurid poverty row programmer than the classy MGM production it had been up until this point.

    Una Merkel is second-billed presumably because she was the only MGM contractee in the film however her role is fairly minor although she does have some classic Una wisecracks and as always is an asset to any film. The movie offers a nice role for character-starlet Isabel Jewell in one of her more sympathetic parts. Ben Lyon, entering the downswing of his career, is good as Kruger's junior partner.

    The movie is stolen by Irene Franklin as the plump and painted good-time "Tiger woman" on trial. I've never heard of or seen Franklin before, she apparently was a big vaudeville star in the early decades of the 20th century and here in 1933 looks years younger than her 57 years. She's sensational in her "Mary Boland meets Marjorie Rambeau" type of role and it's incredible that this film didn't launch her into a career as a much in-demand character actress in this era (she went on to many other films but in most of them appear to have played bits). It's regrettable even here her part is rather small as Franklin is most definitely the life in THE WOMEN IN HIS LIFE.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Otto Kruger is a favorite of mine, ever since seeing him as a likable fifth columnist in Hitchcock's Saboteur. He could play anything believably. Here he gets to show all his skills, beginning as a self-important roue', to broken man, to dying man, to justice seeker, to changed good guy, all believably. But I only noticed on second viewing was his marvelous voice control. As a sick man, his voice sounds sick. But as he recovers his voice gets stronger and stronger, until it's his healthy self. Amazing.
  • This movie would have been mediocre at best had it not been for Otto Kruger's performance. His acting in this movie is so natural, so unlike most precode acting where the acting is over dramatic. I honestly kept wTching just for him, he totally drew me in.
  • This is part love story and part courtroom drama. Otto Kruger plays, Kent Barringer, a supremely confident trial lawyer who just can't lose, but is ultimately selfish and soulless. A woman begs him to work Pro Bono on the case of her father who is accused of murder, but after promising to do so, Kruger ignores her. When he finally gets around to reviewing the facts of the case, he realizes he is connected with it in a very personal way, and this realization ultimately leads him to a new approach on life.

    The film is entertaining but a bit too melodramatic and fantasy-bound for my tastes. Kruger is proficient in his role and great fun to watch. I look forward to seeing more of his work since is the first film I've ever seen him in. The supporting cast does good work yet there aren't any standouts.

    Fun Fact: This is the earliest on-screen appearance of a pinball machine.
  • This is a women's picture but it's packed as a mystery. Otto Kruger is the star. He was an interesting actor: He had a long career -- from silents through low budget pictures in the forties. Distinguished looking, doubtless a good actor. But he never made it nor does he ever really convince.

    Here he is a hotshot lawyer. He's carrying a still-burning torch for a woman. Women who currently surround him are treated like tramps.

    We meet him dispatching one criminal case. Another client comes to him soon after and that's where the real plot begins.

    The supporting cast is good. But there is no real mystery. There's no mystery in the sense of who did it; who will be punished, and how and when. Furthermore, there is no mystery about what stereotypes are going to be employed about the various characters.

    The supporting cast is fine. But that's what everyone is: supporting cast. The acting is unremarkable. Yes, Una Merkel has her usual verve. But that is an acquired taste. And it's irrelevant to this movie.