The Law of Contact

Painted Faces (November 20, 1929)

Helen Foster and Joe E. Brown
 

Released on November 20, 1929: (running time 1 hour and 10 minutes) During murder trial jury deliberations, a hold-out juror promises to change his verdict if he can only tell the rest of the jurors a story first.

Produced by John M. Stahl

Directed by Albert S. Rogell

The Actors: Joe E. Brown (Herman, Beppee the Clown), Helen Foster (Nancy), Barton Hepburn (Bobby Barton), Dorothy Gulliver (Lola Barnes), Lester Cole (Wally), Richard Tucker (District Attorney), Purnell Pratt (jury foreman), Mabel Julienne Scott (Mrs. Warren, nervous juror), Clem Beauchamp (jury member), Joseph Belmont (jury member), Alma Bennett (jury member), Allan Cavan (Defense Attorney), William B. Davidson (ringmaster), Russ Dudley (jury member), Dannie Mac Grant (circus spectator), Walter Jerry (jury member), Sojin Kamiyama (Chinese restaurant owner), Clinton Lyle (jury member), Florence Midgley (jury member), Jack Richardson (theatre stage manager), Howard Truesdale (jury member), Mary Wallace (jury member)

 

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The Killer, the Foreigner Clown, and Eleven Sensible Jurors

If you ask most movie buffs for their favorite motion picture about murder trial jury room drama, they will usually mention the 1957 motion picture “12 Angry Men” - but trust me, . . . after you watch this movie you may never again think of that Henry Fonda movie as the most memorable jury room saga. Filmed during the first days of motion pictures with sound, the story is unequalled to this day.

As this murder mystery begins, we are backstage at a Vaudeville theatre, and soon, while watching a song and dance act we hear a gunshot, and we rush backstage to witness a young man with a smoking gun in his hand, looking down at a dead man.

The trial is quick, the jury goes into the deliberation room, all expecting to be home soon, because snow is falling outside, and Christmas is only days away. Unfortunately, one of the members of the jury is a recent immigrant with a thick Dutch accent. Everyone knows that the accused man is guilty as sin, but this foolish foreigner insists that since there was not an eyewitness to the murder, he might be innocent.

With Christmas fast approaching, the eleven jurors try with all their might to convince the man to vote ‘guilty’ and allow them all to go home. Finally, the Dutchman with a thick accent who works as a clown in a circus promises to vote with the other jurors after he tells them a story.

The circus clown begins telling his story, and when he is finished, all twelve jurors vote the same way. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show, . . . And, Merry Christmas, Funny Face!

Barton Hepburn
Barton Hepburn
Dorothy Gulliver, Barton Hepburn
Dorothy Gulliver, Barton Hepburn
Dorothy Gulliver and Barton Hepburn in Painted Faces
Dorothy Gulliver and Barton Hepburn in Painted Faces
Helen Foster
Helen Foster
Helen Foster and Joe E. Brown in Painted Faces
Helen Foster and Joe E. Brown
Helen Foster as Nancy
Helen Foster
Helen Foster
Helen Foster
Jack Richardson
Jack Richardson
Joe E. Brown
Joe E. Brown
Joe E. Brown, Purnell Pratt
Joe E. Brown, Purnell Pratt
Joe E. Brown, Helen Foster
Joe E. Brown, Helen Foster
Joe E. Brown
Joe E. Brown
Joe E. Brown
Joe E. Brown
Joe E. Brown, Helen Foster
Joe E. Brown, Helen Foster
Lester Cole, Helen Foster
Lester Cole, Helen Foster
Mabel Julienne Scott
Mabel Julienne Scott
Mabel Julienne Scott
Joe E. Brown, Helen Foster
Purnell Pratt
Purnell Pratt
Purnell Pratt
Purnell Pratt
Richard Tucker
Richard Tucker