“That’s what happens when a smart lawyer gets mixed up with a dumb blonde”
I have a list about a mile long of all the classic films I would love to be out on DVD and Lawyer Man is one of them. I usually do not really care for films about lawyers or courtroom dramas of any kind but I really liked Lawyer Man especially because William Powell is the lawyer man and Joan Blondell plays his lovely secretary.
Anton Adams (Powell) at the beginning of the film has his law office in a poor neighborhood in New York City. Helping Anton out is his faithful secretary Olga (Blondell) who loves her boss. He is a good man who helps out those who cannot afford the very top lawyers. He successfully prosecutes a racketeer named Gilmurray and is asked to become a partner in a law firm.
Anton always has his eyes on the women around him much to the jealousy of Olga. He gets drawn into a case of blackmail by a very attractive actress who is working with Gilmurray. The whole case was based on letters that the actress gave him but she gave him but Gilmurray has them stolen and Anton is sued for breach of promise. He loses the case and it sets his career back two years. In those years he becomes a shyster and ruthless with his clients.
Gilmurray comes to him and ask Anton to join his organization. Anton agrees when the racketeer promises him he can get him into the DA’s office. Anton jumps at the chance and the first thing he does he brings a case up against a doctor who was involved with Gilmurray’s blackmail. The doctor is corrupt he steals the city’s money at his clinic writing up broken arms when the case was really a cut on a finger and other things such as those. Gilmurray is none too pleased but Anton goes through with the case and brings down a part of the organization.
In the end Anton realizes that being at the top is so great so he goes back to his old office and the people he can help out the most. Olga is happy because he finally realized she was the only one who stuck with him through all his troubles and that she loved him.
William Powell is just amazing he was such a brilliant actor. I adore the man to no end he was so good in this film. He was amazing at going from being a funny lady’s man staring at their legs to a serious lawyer looking to get even the best way he knew how. This was made when Powell was signed to Warner Bros. in the early 1930s. The more I see of Joan Blondell the more I love her. She was so good as Olga. I loved it when she got pissed off that Anton brought another woman into his office that she slammed her magazine on the table gave him such a look. She was the level headed on while Anton was all over the place. One line was really funny when Anton called Olga drunk after being out with a woman and asks “Olga, is there anything wrong with me?” and she replies “I wouldn’t be surprised.” In the next scene the look of hurt on her face adorable.
Lawyer Man is a very good Pre-Code film. I like seeing William Powell in a Pre-Code even though he was not a typical rough Pre-Code guy. Lawyer Man is excellently fast paced and gets right to the point. As I said the film is not out on DVD and it should be because Powell and Joan Blondell are greatly paired along with a good story