Slightly Honorable (January 22, 1940)
Released on January 22, 1940: (running time 1 hour and 26 minutes) Lawyer Johnny Webb is framed for the murder of his old girlfriend.
Directed by Tay Garnett
Written by Ken Englund, John Hunter Lay and Robert Tallman from a novel by F.G. Presnell titled, “Send Another Coffin”
The Actors: Pat O'Brien (Johnny Webb), Edward Arnold (Vincent Cushing, owner of the News Gazette newspaper and city political boss), Broderick Crawford (Russ Sampson, Johnny's partner), Eve Arden( Miss Ater, Webb's secretary), Ruth Terry (Ann Seymour, nightclub singer), Alan Dinehart (District Attorney Stuyvesant Joyce), Claire Dodd (Alma Brehmer), Phyllis Brooks (Sarilla Cushing), Douglass Dumbrille (George Taylor), Bernard Nedell (Pete Godena), Douglas Fowley (Charles Madder, reporter for the Daily Citizen newspaper), Ernest Truex (P. Hemingway Collins), Janet Beecher (Mrs. Cushing), Evelyn Keyes (Miss Vlissingen, Johnny's second secretary), John Sheehan (Mike Daley, Johnny's drunk associate), Addison Richards (Inspector Melvyn Fromm), Cliff Clark (Captain Graves), Jack Green (detective), Dale Armstrong (radio announcer), Art Baker (radio announcer), Muriel Barr (girl on Counch), Jack Baxley (detective with Godeana), Willie Best (Art the elevator operator), Wheaton Chambers (guest), Eddy Chandler (O'Leary the cop), Irene Coleman (Curvy Brunette), Frank Dae (President of the Senate), Pat Davis (newspaper reporter), John Deering (radio announcer), Charles K. French (pallbearer), Tay Garnett (reporter), Howard C. Hickman (Senator Scott), Al Hill Jr. (newsboy), Al Hill (bartender), Bud Jamison (cop), Marjorie Kane (apartment building telephone operator), Richard Keene (the fingerprint man), George Magrill (reporter), Barnard Matis (delivery boy), Paul McVey (policeman Humbolt), Robert Middlemass (Senator Berry), Gerald Pierce (delivery boy), Victor Potel (proprietor), Max Rose (fingerprint expert), Dick Rush (detective), Arthur Shank (radio announcer), Irving Wickes (photographer), Zack Williams (black preacher in cemetary), Jack Winn (surveyor)
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Murder, Mayhem, Mystery and Merriment
Johnny Webb is a lawyer. You know lawyers, right? Honest and honorable men, all. Well, maybe not all, but most. Well, maybe not most, but many. Well, at least we know that Johnny is an honest and honorable lawyer. Well, . . . would you believe me if I assured you that Johnny is at least Slightly Honorable?
Pat O’Brien is Johnny Webb, hot-shot lawyer with an eye for the dames. Alma is the one girl who almost snagged Johnny, and although they have each moved on and are not an item anymore, they are still very close. Alma, played by Claire Dodd, is the girl who would bake an apple pie for Johnny and wait at home for him every night with dinner on the table, but Johnny just isn’t that sort of fellow.
As our adventure opens Alma introduces Johnny to his next dame, an eighteen-year-old nightclub singer who is only flat when she sings. Fortunately, she talks a lot more than she sings. . . . Well, that might not be fortunate either. Anyway, on to the dark, noir, murder part of the story.
Johnny’s old flame Alma asks him to come to her apartment at 8pm because her current sugar-daddy just gave her a diamond bracelet and she wants lawyer Johnny to add it to her will. When Johnny arrives, he discovers Alma in her bedroom, lying face down with a unique knife in her back.
Johnny speaks softly as he promises the dead girl that he will bring her killer to justice no matter what it takes. Unfortunately, the town’s political boss, along with the District Attorney and the cops, decide that Johnny is the killer and they will skillfully frame him for her death. It appears that Johnny will pay the price for her murder even though he is probably the only honorable man in town. Well, I assure you that he is at least Slightly Honorable. Actually, would you believe me if I told you that lawyer Johnny is the most honest and honorable man in the story? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Bernard Nedell and Edward Arnold
Broderick Crawford and Pat O'Brien
Claire Dodd and Bernard Nedell
Claire Dodd and Pat O'Brien
Edward Arnold, Bernard Nedell and Alan Dinehart
Edward Arnold and Claire Dodd
Howard C. Hickman
Howard C. Hickman
Pat O'Brien and Alan Dinehart
Pat O'Brien and Broderick Crawford
Pat O'Brien and Claire Dodd
Pat O'Brien and Howard C. Hickman
Pat O'Brien and Ruth Terry
Pat O'Brien and Edward Arnold
Pat O'Brien and Ruth Terry
Ruth Terry, Pat O'Brien and Willie Best
Ruth Terry lifts up her dress