You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Counsellor-at-Law

Elmer Rice's screen adaptation of his own legit play retains enough of its natural dramatic power to rate favourably with the original. Directed with complete understanding of the subject, expertly cast in its small but important secondary character roles and well produced on the whole, Counsellor-at-Law is compelling stuff.

With:
John Barrymore Bebe Daniels Doris Kenyon Onslow Stevens Isabel Jewell Melvyn Douglas

Elmer Rice’s screen adaptation of his own legit play retains enough of its natural dramatic power to rate favourably with the original. Directed with complete understanding of the subject, expertly cast in its small but important secondary character roles and well produced on the whole, Counsellor-at-Law is compelling stuff.

The one flaw is in the casting for the principal role. Elmer Rice’s George Simon, an East Side boy who rises to great prominence at the bar, is physically unsuited to John Barrymore, besides being a type of role that he hasn’t tackled in pictures before. Barrymore’s only means of conquering the role is to reshape George Simon into Barrymore. During the early moments he has a struggle on his hands, but the transformation is slowly completed.

The minor characters whose lives are intertwined with Simon’s in this Grand Hotel in a lawyer’s office were largely responsible for the play’s legit success. That fact has not been overlooked in the picture casting, as is evidenced by the importation of eight of the original stage players by Universal. They know their roles and they don’t make any mistakes. These players, all lending valuable aid, are Marvin Kline, Conway Washburn, John Qualen, J. Hammond Dailey, Malka Kornstein, Angela Jacobs, T. H. Manning and Elmer Brown.

Bebe Daniels, like Barrymore, is also out of her own backyard as Simon’s secretary whose affection for her troubled boss goes unrequited until the finish, when it’s vaguely suggested she’ll win her point.

Counsellor-at-Law

Production: Universal. Director William Wyler; Producer Henry Henigson; Screenplay Elmer Rice; Camera Norbert Brodine; Editor Daniel Mandell

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1933. Running time: 80 MIN.

With: John Barrymore Bebe Daniels Doris Kenyon Onslow Stevens Isabel Jewell Melvyn Douglas

More Film

  • James Maslow

    James Maslow to Star in World War II Action Movie 'Wolf Hound'

    Elmer Rice’s screen adaptation of his own legit play retains enough of its natural dramatic power to rate favourably with the original. Directed with complete understanding of the subject, expertly cast in its small but important secondary character roles and well produced on the whole, Counsellor-at-Law is compelling stuff. The one flaw is in the […]

  • Talent Management Firm Bohemia Group Opens

    Talent Management Firm Bohemia Opens Berlin Office

    Elmer Rice’s screen adaptation of his own legit play retains enough of its natural dramatic power to rate favourably with the original. Directed with complete understanding of the subject, expertly cast in its small but important secondary character roles and well produced on the whole, Counsellor-at-Law is compelling stuff. The one flaw is in the […]

  • Jeremy Irons-Jack Huston Comedy 'An Actor

    Jeremy Irons-Jack Huston Comedy 'An Actor Prepares' Bought by Gravitas (EXCLUSIVE)

    Elmer Rice’s screen adaptation of his own legit play retains enough of its natural dramatic power to rate favourably with the original. Directed with complete understanding of the subject, expertly cast in its small but important secondary character roles and well produced on the whole, Counsellor-at-Law is compelling stuff. The one flaw is in the […]

  • Blitz Films Launched With Martial Arts

    Blitz Films Launches With Martial Arts Drama 'Heart of a Champion' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Elmer Rice’s screen adaptation of his own legit play retains enough of its natural dramatic power to rate favourably with the original. Directed with complete understanding of the subject, expertly cast in its small but important secondary character roles and well produced on the whole, Counsellor-at-Law is compelling stuff. The one flaw is in the […]

  • Venice’s ‘The Wild Boys’ Acquired by

    Venice’s ‘The Wild Boys’ Acquired by U.S.'s Altered Innocence, MUBI (EXCLUSIVE)

    Elmer Rice’s screen adaptation of his own legit play retains enough of its natural dramatic power to rate favourably with the original. Directed with complete understanding of the subject, expertly cast in its small but important secondary character roles and well produced on the whole, Counsellor-at-Law is compelling stuff. The one flaw is in the […]

  • Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone in

    Michael B. Jordan Attempts to Rewrite History in First 'Creed II' Trailer

    Elmer Rice’s screen adaptation of his own legit play retains enough of its natural dramatic power to rate favourably with the original. Directed with complete understanding of the subject, expertly cast in its small but important secondary character roles and well produced on the whole, Counsellor-at-Law is compelling stuff. The one flaw is in the […]

  • Merger Angst Warner Media

    High Anxiety: WarnerMedia Staff Braces for New Boss as AT&T Takes Control

    Elmer Rice’s screen adaptation of his own legit play retains enough of its natural dramatic power to rate favourably with the original. Directed with complete understanding of the subject, expertly cast in its small but important secondary character roles and well produced on the whole, Counsellor-at-Law is compelling stuff. The one flaw is in the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content