"I'm not looking at your legs, madam," says D.A. Tom Cardigan to the glamorous accused killer on the witness stand. "I'm looking at your soul!" In State's Attorney, John Barrymore dazzles courtroom audiences and movie audiences alike as Cardigan, a mob-mouthpiece-turned-principled prosecutor. Although he's tangled up with booze, shady characters, a bad girl who's good for him (Helen Twelvetrees) and a good girl who's bad for him (Jill Esmond, at the time Mrs. Laurence Olivier), Tom makes a success of his new career and appears headed for the governor's mansion. Then the cops nab Tom's former boss on a murder rap, and Tom prosecutes, knowing the mobster may spill a secret that will destroy Tom's future. David O. Selznick is executive producer of this fast-paced thriller highlighted by sharp dialogue, courtroom pyrotechnics and Barrymore's transfixing talent.
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emotional "flavor" to it. Holds up reasonably well overall. The best part of the story is the relationship between the lawyer and a fallen woman that
he befriends and ultimately lives with. Their up-and-down relationship is at the core of the film and most interesting to follow. Good film overall.