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The Man Who Talked Too Much (1940)

Passed | | Drama | 16 July 1940 (USA)
Assistant District Attorney Stephen Forbes, an impressive orator with a long list of convictions, resigns when an innocent boy is convicted and the real murderer confesses too late. He ... See full summary »

Director:

Vincent Sherman

Writers:

Walter DeLeon (screenplay), Earl Baldwin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Brent ... Stephen M. Forbes
Virginia Bruce ... Joan Reed
Brenda Marshall ... Celia Farrady
Richard Barthelmess ... J.B. Roscoe
William Lundigan ... John L. Forbes
George Tobias ... Slug 'Canvasback' McNutt
John Litel ... District Attorney Dickson
Henry Armetta ... Tony Spirella
Alan Baxter ... Joe Garland
David Bruce ... Gerald Wilson
Clarence Kolb ... E.A. Smith
Louis Jean Heydt ... Barton
Marc Lawrence ... Lefty Kyler
Edwin Stanley Edwin Stanley ... District Attorney Nelson (as Ed Stanley)
Kay Sutton ... Mrs. Knight (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Assistant District Attorney Stephen Forbes, an impressive orator with a long list of convictions, resigns when an innocent boy is convicted and the real murderer confesses too late. He opens a cheap law office and his secretary Joan Reed goes with him. Business is bad until he ties up with J.B. Roscoe, the contact man between city hall and the underworld. Forbes moves to a swanky office and adds two people to his staff - his younger brother John, who he helped through law school, and Celia Farraday. Celia helps John win his first case and the two fall in love. John realizes his brother's firm isn't honest and wants to break the underworld contact. He opens Steve's safe for federal authorities hunting evidence against Roscoe. But the latter plants enough circumstantial evidence against John that the latter is convicted of murder and sent to death row. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HARD-TO-GET-MEN...AND EASY-TO-LOVE-WOMEN! (original print ad-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broadway Lawyer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. 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

The original play opened in Brooklyn, New York on 10 June 1929. See more »

Connections

Version of The Mouthpiece (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable though not exactly believable or original
23 March 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I nearly always prefer watching the original film and not remakes. Yet somehow, I have managed to watch both remakes ("The Man Who Talked Too Much" and "Illegal") without yet seeing the first film ("The Mouthpiece")--so I can't really compare the remakes with the original. But, in nearly every case, I do prefer original films and I must knock a point off "The Man Who Talked Too Much" for being a remake.

Of the three leads from these three films, George Brent in "The Man Who Talked Too Much" is probably the most poorly cast. While a fine actor, it is harder to imagine him playing a rather crooked individual--whereas Warren William and Edward G. Robinson are a bit more at home with such roles. Also, I will admit it up front that the plot is really hard to believe. So, to enjoy the film you just have to accept that Brent could be bad and the rest of the plot. If you can't, the film just won't work very well.

The film begins with Brent playing a prosecuting attorney, Stephen Forbes. He convicts a man for murder and is quite pleased with himself--until they learn he was innocent. To make things worse (and HIGHLY contrived), they find out only seconds before the execution and they cannot reach the warden in time to stop it! Forbes is horrified and quits his job--which isn't too surprising. Now in private practice, he has a hard time making ends meet. But, when mobsters find out how talented he is, he immediately becomes a success--to the horror of his younger and very idealistic brother. What follows is amazingly contrived (you just have to see it) but also enjoyable in a brainless sort of way. Not a bad film--but one that could have been better.

UPDATE: I finally got to see the original version, "The Mouthpiece". It's significantly better...and a lot racier!


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