Review: ‘They Won’t Forget’

The film [from the novel Death in the Deep South by Ward Greene] pulls no punches, indicting lynch law and mob fury with scalpel-like precision.

The film [from the novel Death in the Deep South by Ward Greene] pulls no punches, indicting lynch law and mob fury with scalpel-like precision.

The locale is the Deep South. A young business-school student is assaulted and murdered in the institution’s building on Confederate Memorial Day, after classes are out. Only circumstantial evidence is available to the district attorney (Claude Rains) and the two most likely guilty individuals are a Negro janitor (Clinton Rosemond) and a young Yankee professor (Edward Norris) at the school.

The d.a., driven by unswerving political ambition, and taunted by a news-hungry reporter (Allyn Joslyn), decides by a hair’s breath (‘Anyone can convict a Negro in the South’) that the young teacher, recently transplanted from the North, is the better bait.

Finally a w.k. lawyer (Otto Kruger) goes South to defend the indicted man. In the punch-packed courtroom scenes, the film really implants its wallop.

The cast, while not boasting any names of much marquee magnetism, is uniformly fine. Rains especially stands out.

They Won't Forget

Production

Warner Bros.. Director Mervyn LeRoy; Producer Mervyn LeRoy; Screenplay Abem Kandel, Robert Rosson; Camera Arthur Edeson; Editor Thomas Ricards; Music Adolph Deutsch; Art Director Robert Haas

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1937. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Claude Rains Edward Norris Allyn Joslyn Linda Perry Cy Kendall Clinton Rosemond
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