Counsellor at Law

Director: William Wyler
Year Released: 1933
Rating: 3.5

A lightning tongued lawyer (John Barrymore), with his roots in the poorer parts of New York City, does everything in his power to defend the underprivileged and earn a little extra money in any way, but he soon discovers that a past indiscretion with a client - to save that client's life - may lead to his being disbarred. Barrymore is the whole show here: his character recognizes that he needs to be true to his past even though he has ascended the social ladder and that his mucking around with the 'underprivileged' alienates him from his prim wife (Doris Kenyon) and bratty kids. The rapid-fire verbiage caught me off-guard and it's not easy to follow everything that's happening - no lawyer I've ever met is this frantic, though I've never been able to afford anyone more prestigious than an ambulance chaser (and I have already been arrested). I suppose I should have taken more than one pre-law class in college - The Great Profile walks home, at the end of the night, with the lovely (and loyal) Bebe Daniels, which ain't so bad at all....