6.2/10
174
10 user 1 critic

Mountain Justice (1937)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 24 April 1937 (USA)
Stalwart Appalachian woman finds romance as she struggles to better herself and her people amid prejudice and familial abuse.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Norman Reilly Raine (screenplay), Luci Ward (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Brent ... Paul Cameron
Josephine Hutchinson ... Ruth Harkins
Guy Kibbee ... Dr. John Aloysius Barnard
Mona Barrie ... Evelyn Wayne
Robert Barrat ... Jeff Harkins
Joe King ... Judge at Ruth's Trial (as Joseph King)
Margaret Hamilton ... Phoebe Lamb
Robert McWade ... Horace Bamber - Lawyer
Fuzzy Knight ... Clem Biggers
Edward Pawley ... Tod Miller
Elisabeth Risdon ... Meg Harkins (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Marcia Mae Jones ... Bethie Harkins
Granville Bates ... Judge Crawley at Jeff's Trial
Russell Simpson ... Mr. Matthew Turnbull
Sibyl Harris Sibyl Harris ... Mrs. Turnbull
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Storyline

Stalwart Appalachian woman finds romance as she struggles to better herself and her people amid prejudice and familial abuse.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gesetz der Berge See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Loosely based on the case of Edith Maxwell (1914-1979), a 21 year-old schoolteacher in Pound, Virginia. She was convicted of murdering her father in 1935 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. She was pardoned by Governor James H. Price (D) in 1941 and moved to Indiana under a new name. See more »

Goofs

It is never explained why Paul, presumably a lawyer from New York City, was brought in to prosecute the trial of Harkins at the beginning of the film. See more »

Soundtracks

Speaking of the Weather
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Played by the dance band
See more »

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User Reviews

Too Many Weak Moments
17 December 2013 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Mountain Justice (1937)

** (out of 4)

Michael Curtiz directed this rather disappointing film from Warner about mountain girl Ruth Harkins (Josephine Hutchinson) who wants to help a local doctor (Guy Kibbee) build various hospitals so that the poor can have good health. Her abusive father finds out about all of this and her relationship with a New York lawyer (George Brent) so he puts a major beating on her. In self defense the daughter ends up killing her father and the trash locals want her dead too. MOUNTAIN JUSTICE has quite a bit of stuff going on in it but sadly very little of it works. Warner made all sorts of "message" pictures that often dealt with injustice as well as revenge. This film features that stuff but the entire plot is just so paper thin that it was hard to take any of it serious. The biggest problem is that this father is so mean that it's hard to believe that even these trash locals would buy into supporting him. Even if you do believe that they would, the courtroom sequence at the end is just so obvious because you know there would be so many ways for the lawyer to get the woman off these murder charges even if the trash jury convicted her. I'm not going to ruin the final act but it too really feels rushed and thrown together. The performances are another mixed bag but it seems like Brent wants nothing to do with this material. Even in some bad movies he still manages to deliver good performances but that's not the case here as he just comes across bored and wishing he was somewhere else. Hutchinson delivers a fine performance but it's not strong enough to carry the picture. Kibbee, Robert Barrat and Margaret Hamilton are all good but the screenplay really doesn't do much with their characters. There are a few effective moments including the way Curtiz uses shadows for the beating and murder. There's also an effective sequence towards the end when the rednecks decide to put masks on to kidnap the girl from jail. Still, these scenes just aren't enough to overcome all the weaker moments.


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