Monday, November 13, 2017

Tonight's Movie: The Law in Her Hands (1936) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Everyone's favorite Warner Bros. sidekick, Glenda Farrell, is featured in a brand-new Glenda Farrell Triple Feature collection, available on DVD from the Warner Archive.

THE LAW IN HER HANDS (1936) is featured in the set along with HERE COMES CARTER (1936) and DANCE CHARLIE DANCE (1937). These three very short films share a single one-sided disc, along with the trailer for each movie. The latter two films will be reviewed here at a future date.

In THE LAW IN HER HANDS Farrell and Margaret Lindsay play Dot and Mary, newly minted attorneys in the state of New York. They open a law firm, but the going is tough.

Assistant District Attorney Bob Mitchell (Dick Purcell) takes a shine to Mary and tries to persuade her to give up her floundering career for marriage. Mary agrees to marry Bob, but first she wants a year to prove to herself that she's a good attorney who can have a successful career.

Enter genteel mobster Frank "Legs" Gordon (Lyle Talbot). After initially resisting representing Gordon, Mary becomes desperate for work, so she takes his retainer. Soon the law firm moves to a much nicer building, Mary and Dot upgrade their wardrobes, Mary has a maid (Bernice Pilot), and all is well...until Gordon wants Mary to get involved with some of his more nefarious dealings...and Assistant D.A. Mitchell gets hurt.

This 58-minute film moves at a breakneck pace, and I found it fun and entertaining. There's no doubt that the assumptions about marriage and a woman's career not mixing, or the "proper" role for a woman, will cause some modern viewers to wince -- yet taking a look at 1936 attitudes on such topics is part of the value of a film like this.

Lindsay and Farrell are always entertaining, and that's the case here; Lindsay has the lead role, but Farrell has plenty of screen time. Talbot is appropriately slimy, and Purcell is okay as a smiling nice guy, but it's the ladies who make the movie worth the watch.

Also in the cast: Eddie Acuff, Al Shean, Addison Richards, Joseph Crehan, Milton Kibbee, and Howard C. Hickman.

THE LAW IN HER HANDS was directed by William Clemens and filmed by Sid Hickox. Costume designs were by the great Orry-Kelly.

The Warner Archive print of THE LAW IN HER HANDS is excellent. The disc includes the trailer.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Sounds like a dandy little flick and just the sort of thing a gal would like to find in her Christmas stocking.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

It is! I think you would like this set -- I'm looking forward to checking out the other titles very soon.

Best wishes,

11:03 PM  

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