Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Barrymore, Bebe Daniels, Doris Kenyon, Isabel Jewell, Melvyn Douglas, Onslow Stevens, Thelma Todd, Clara Langsner, John Hammond Dailey, Mayo Methot, Robert Gordon, Malka Kornstein, Vincent Sherman, Marvin Kline, T.H. Manning, John Qualen, Angela Jacobs, Richard Quine, Barbara Perry, Elmer H. Brown, Conway Washburne, Frederick Burton
Written by: Elmer Rice, based on his play
Directed by: William Wyler
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 82
Date: 12/25/1933

Counsellor at Law (1933)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Attorney to the End

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director William Wyler really started showing his skills with this outstanding film featuring a top-notch performance by John Barrymore -- then considered the world's finest screen actor. He plays a liberal lawyer who has clawed his way to the top but has never forgotten the people he met on his way. During a very busy day in his office, he learns that his license may be at stake -- that testimony given in a previously won case may have been false. Wyler moves his camera briskly and fluidly through the office, telling his story and establishing a stable of characters in an amazingly tight 80 minutes. Bebe Daniels nearly steals the movie away from Barrymore in her role as "Rexy," the chatty office receptionist. This is a must-see.

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