Watch Lawyer Man
- 1 hr 8 min
Lawyer Man is a pre-Code drama film released in 1932. Directed by William Dieterle, the movie stars William Powell as Anton Adam, a criminal defense lawyer, Joan Blondell as Olga Michaels, and David Landau as District Attorney James Redfield. The film borrows from real-life events in the early 1900s, where corruption, power, and money influenced the justice system. The movie is a compelling legal thriller that highlights the challenges Anton faces in his profession.
The movie opens with Anton Adam graduating from law school and finding it challenging to land a job. However, he finally gets a break when he is hired by lawyer Granville Bentley (Alan Dinehart). Anton is ecstatic about his first job and sets out to make a name for himself. He takes on cases from small misdemeanors to high-profile murder cases, giving him the fame and reputation that he so badly wants.
Anton's ethical struggle becomes apparent when he meets Olga, a gangster's girlfriend, who tries to persuade him to bend the law in favor of her boyfriend. Anton is tempted by the money that comes with representing powerful clients, but he finds himself struggling to maintain his integrity. He continues to defend criminals and live a lavish lifestyle while keeping a secret relationship with Olga.
Anton's ambitious streak puts him in a conflict with the district attorney, James Redfield. Redfield is determined to bring down corruption in the legal system by exposing Anton's illegal activities. Redfield's character is flawed, and he also plays dirty, making the story complicated and engaging.
The film showcases the struggles that minorities faced in the early 1900s, especially in the legal system. Anton defends a young African American boy, who was wrongfully accused of murder. The boy is found guilty, and despite Anton's efforts, he ends up being wrongfully executed. The scene where the boy is taken to the electric chair is heart-wrenching, and it serves as a reminder of the injustices people of color faced during that period.
The movie's climax is tense and gripping, with Anton and Redfield battling each other in the courtroom. Anton relies on his wit and charm to convince the jury of his client's innocence. But, as the trial progresses, he realizes that justice is not always served, and the corrupt system is more significant than he thought. The movie ends with an unpredictable twist that leaves the audience pondering about the society's loopholes and the legal system's limitations.
Lawyer Man is a well-crafted legal drama that has stood the test of time. The movie was released during the pre-Code era, a period when censorship restrictions were not as strict, allowing filmmakers to explore taboo topics. The film addresses corruption in the legal profession and how it affects the society at large. It portrays Anton as a flawed character, highlighting the human side of lawyers and their ethical dilemmas. Powell's performance is outstanding, and he delivers his witty lines with conviction. Blondell's character is smart and sassy, and she complements Powell's performance. Landau as the district attorney is suave and manipulative, making him the perfect antagonist.
Overall, Lawyer Man is a must-watch for movie buffs who enjoy legal thrillers. It is a classic film that explores themes that are still relevant today, such as ethical dilemmas, corruption, and power struggles. The movie's ending is thought-provoking, and it leaves the audience with a lot to ponder. Lawyer Man is a timeless classic that deserves recognition for its masterful storytelling and outstanding performances.
Lawyer Man is a 1933 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 8 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.