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Mr. District Attorney (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 27 March 1941 (USA)
First screen version of the popular radio series, followed by two sequels.

Director:

William Morgan

Writers:

Karl Brown (original screenplay), Malcolm Stuart Boylan (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Dennis O'Keefe ... P. Cadwallader Jones
Florence Rice ... Terry Parker
Peter Lorre ... Paul Hyde
Stanley Ridges ... District Attorney Tom F. Winton
Minor Watson ... Arthur Barret
Charles Arnt ... Herman Winkle
Joan Blair Joan Blair ... Betty Paradise
Charles Halton ... Hazelton - Barrett's Aide
Alan Edwards ... Grew
George Watts George Watts ... Judge White
Sarah Edwards Sarah Edwards ... Miss Petherby
Helen Brown Helen Brown ... Mrs. Paul Hyde
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Storyline

First screen version of the popular radio series, followed by two sequels.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Learn the inside of big-time politics!

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El fantasma asesino See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

New York Times 17 April 1941 described it as "the worst bad picture of the year." See more »

Connections

Followed by Secrets of the Underground (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Toughest Case They Have
11 July 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Dennis O'Keefe has the dubious distinction of starring in two films with the same exact title. But whereas the second Mr. District Attorey is quite serious, this one at times crosses over into screwball comedy.

As in the second film O'Keefe is a bright young newly minted Assistant who is top in his class which was Harvard and he's got nice blue blood connections. District Attorney Stanley Ridges almost is hammerlocked into hiring him and in his first court appearance, so fastidious is O'Keefe about ethics that he wins an acquittal for gangster Ben Welden. That actually pays off for him later in the film in a very curious way.

O'Keefe is then assigned the toughest case in the office, one of a man who embezzled money which sad to say was marked and then he disappeared. Later on however a couple of those bills show up as being bet by Joan Blair who on a big longshot who comes in. Later on she's killed and so is Charles Arnt who gave her the money.

The real thief is Peter Lorre who is at his creepy best. He has disappeared and can't get at the money anyway which is recorded and hot. But Lorre has something on a lot of the bigshots in town who coincidentally enough are political opponents of Ridges.

Along for the ride is reporter Florence Rice who first hangs around O'Keefe because news seems to break wherever he is, but then they kind of like each other though her help is as dubious as Myrna Loy's for William Powell in The Thin Man.

The first Mr. District Attorney is nicely paced with a lot of laughs from O'Keefe and Rice who almost fall into the solution of all the crime. Mr. District Attorney on radio was a pretty serious program so no wonder they might have felt the need to make a more serious film with this title later.


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