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"The Woman Accused"

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Character's Name: Jeffrey Baxter
Release Date:  February 17, 1933
Director:  Paul Sloane
Studio:  Paramount Publix
Running Time: 71 minutes

Cast:  Nancy Carroll (Glenda O'Brien), Cary Grant (Jeffrey Baxter), John Halliday (Stephen Bessemer), Irving Pichel (District Attorney Clarke), Norma Mitchell (Leo Young), Jack LaRue (Little Maxie), Frank Sheridan (Inspector Swope), John Lodge (Dr. Simpson), Harry Holman (Judge Osgood)

- by Zoë Shaw
Glenda and Jeffrey's romance, is threatened by the return of Leo (Glenda's Ex). Glenda kills Leo, after he threatens to murder Jeffrey. Glenda, Jeffrey and some friends go on a cruise, where Leo's partner (Stephen) tries to get Glenda to confess to the murder. She doesn't.

- Debbie Dunlap
A very young Cary Grant has one of his first starring roles in 'Woman Accused.' Of some interest to the Warbrides might be that this was written by 10 writers, one segment at a time. Like our fan-fiction!

Jeffrey (CG) and Glenda (Nancy Carroll) play two lovers about to embark on a three- day cruise to nowhere. Their plan is to be married on board by the ship's captain. As Glenda is packing to leave, she receives a threatening phone call from her obsessed, former lover who has taken residence just two floors above her apartment. Glenda sneaks upstairs to confront Leo and tell him that it's over. Leo, a high-powered attorney calls a hit-man to have Jeffrey eliminated. Glenda knocks Leo over the head before he can give the hit man a name. Leo is dead.

Glenda sneaks back into her apartment, goes off on the cruise with Jeffrey and pretends that all is swell. Leo's partner, Stephen Bessemer, suspects Glenda and follows her to the ship. Bessemer stages a mock trial aboard the ship and cleverly draws a confession from Glenda. Jeffrey, also an attorney, represents Glenda when she is arrested upon arriving on shore. A skeptical district attorney, and the fact that Jeffrey horsewhips the star witness (the hit-man), combine to get Glenda completely off the hook.

Some interesting bits: 1) The snuggle scene in Jeffrey's cabin. Mmmm. Wouldn't I have loved to be the one in Cary's lap suggesting the naughty things that Glenda was suggesting! 2) In the pool, Cary was floating on an Asta dog floatie! 3) Cary horse- whipping the hit-man was really a shocker. If the opening scene of 'The Philadelphia Story' bothered you, stay away from 'Woman Accused'!

VARIETY Film Review - March 14, 1933
- by "Char"
- submitted by Barry Martin
It took 10 pretty well-known authors to turn out this story for 'Liberty' and Bayard Veiller, vet playwright-scenarist, to put it in screen form.  Result as reflected by the picture may convince producers and exhibitors that new writing talent should be encouraged.

Undoubtedly Paramount brought rights to the 10-author story rather because of the exploitation possibilities than the worth of the script for filming.  While of  some sales value, depending on how theatres smoke it up, it's doubtful.   'Woman Accused' looks better for 'B' than 'A' dating.

Nancy Carroll, Cary Grant and John Halliday, co-featured, are not singly or together anything more than of spring warmth as box office.  Here Miss Carroll and Grant carry out a questionable love romance under the tension of melodramatics that hearken back to a forgotten day.  The murder comes early when Miss Carroll kills the man who's threatening to have her boy friend loaded with lead if she doesn't return his embraces.  From there on story concerns itself with the efforts of the slain man's friend to pin the guilt on the girl by following her on a boat excursion.  It is the methods rather than the purpose which bring in welcome laughs in these sequences.  Most absurd is the mock trial suggested as a means of embarrassing the girl into possible hysteria and a confession.  It's all very theatrical and banal. 

Final reel, after confession has surreptitiously been obtained, deals with the boy friend's thrashing of a gangster witness whose retractions clear the girl.  

NEW YORK TIMES Film Review - March 11, 1933
- by Mordaunt Hall
- submitted by Barry Martin
Ten well-known authors, among them being Irvin S. Cobb, Vicki Baum, Rupert Hughes, Gertrude Atherton and Zane Grey, are credited with the story of "The Woman Accused," the screen script of which was written by Bayard Veiller. Notwithstanding the array of literary talent, the pictorial result is rather disappointing, even though the players do their utmost to lend credibility to the implausible incidents.

Paul Sloane directed this film, which is now at the Paramount. It looks as though he had slipped up now and again in the handling of some of the episodes. Nancy Carroll impersonates Glenda O'Brien, an attractive but somewhat reprehensible young woman who kills a former lover named Leo Young. She strikes him with a bronze ornament, but the force of the blow hardly seems sufficient to render Young unconscious, let alone cause his death. Evidently this must have occurred to Mr. Sloane, for when the surgeon examines the victim, what he says gives one the impression that Young had a skull the thickness of an eggshell.

Prior to the struggle which ends in Young's death, Glenda endeavors to persuade him not to interfere with her, as she is in love with one Jeffrey Baxter. She is in Young's penthouse, on a building in which she has an apartment. He locks the door and maliciously shows her the key. When Glenda decides to escape by the fire-escape, Young tells her that she may fall. He tempts her to return by throwing the key on a table, but as everybody suspects, he picks it up as soon as she re-enters the room. Glenda might easily have risked climbing down the fire-escape again, but this idea does not again occur to her. Then Young calls up a gunman referred to as Maxie, who has no qualms about snuffing out a life for a pal, and asks him to attend to "rubbing out" Baxter.

John Halliday portrays Stephen Bessemer, who is convinced that Glenda is responsible for Young's death. By that time Glenda is on a ship which has just started on a three-day cruise. Bessemer, being a resourceful individual, commandeers a police patrol boat, catches up with the big vessel and climbs aboard.

With good luck at a mock trial, he succeeds, by playing upon Glenda's nervous condition, in eliciting a confession from her. These scenes are more amusing than exciting, but later, when Glenda, Baxter and Bessemer return to New York, Maxie virtually holds Glenda's fate in his hands. Baxter, however, after listening to the gangster's damaging testimony undertakes to make Maxie tell the truth by thrashing him with a blacksnake whip.

It is, of course, impossible to say which episodes were penned by the different writers. It is one continuous narrative and rather a shallow one, especially considering all the brains employed in its telling. The stagins is quite pleasing and the photography and vocal recording are excellent.

Miss Carroll acts commendably. Mr. Halliday also gives a praise-worthy performance. Louis Calhern makes the most of his opportunities in the thankless role of Young. Jack LaRue is quite convincing as Maxie. Irving Pichel is dignified as the District Attorney and Cary Grant is ingratiating as Jeffrey Baxter.  

CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE Film Review - February 18, 1933
- by Mae Tinée
- submitted by Renee Klish

Nancy Carroll is on Top of the Heap Again

Good Morning!

It's always an immense satisfaction to gaze upon a human being who "comes back." So - get a good, round eyeful of Miss Nancy Carroll, who scored high for a time, hit the skids and whizzed into brief oblivion and is NOW atop the pile waving a flag!

She did a magnificent piece of work recently in "Child of Manhattan."  In "Woman Accused" she gives a repeat performance.  Here is a fine emotional actress as well as a little beauty.  May the gods continue kindly in the matter of handling her proper vehicles!

"Woman Accused" is adapted from a magazine serial.  The script was authorized by ten writers, including Rupert Hughes, Vicki Baum, Zane Grey, Vina Delmar, Irvin S. Cobb, and Gertrude Atherton.  It is a many-faceted melodrama full of suspense and alive with "love interest."  It boasts a fine cast - with Cary Grant playing the male lead in a manner to start feminine pulses bounding, Louis Calhern villaining as Louis Calhern can, John Halliday cleverly depicting the latter's brainy lawyer friend, and Jack La Rue giving a most colorful and convincing picture of a gangster rat.

The action is speedy.  Situations are surprising.  Dialogue is crisply potent.  There's a lavish, showy glamourousness about the whole thing that will cause the film to appeal to sensation lovers of all classes.

Note: [you won't be able to HELP noting!] the scene in which Little Maxie gets his at the hands of the 'andsome 'ero, Mister Jeffrey Baxter.  There, my hearties, is a bit that even old arena-blase Nero would have licked his chops over!

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