Director: William K. Howard
Year Released: 1934
William Powell and Myrna Loy made three films together in 1934 - this, Manhattan Melodrama and The Thin Man - with this being the worst of the three. The clunky script and lack of humor (with apologies to Ms. Una Merkel, who tries her best to be zippy) are two major problems, as ingenious lawyer Powell has to defend his neglected wife Loy and Isabell Jewell for the murder of a blackmailer. The court scenes are horribly written and plagued by hysterics courtesy of a guilt-ridden Loy - real-world judges would not have allowed things to get so out of hand, but Hollywood judges love outbursts. As a statement about morality it's a harsh warning to women even thinking about running around on their husbands and the trouble it can get them into: Powell's supposed involvement with former client Rosalind Russell - and his obsession with work - is what starts the whole mess.