The People Against O'Hara

The People Against O'Hara

Spencer Tracy
Director: John Sturges Cast: Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
, Pat O'Brien
Pat O'Brien
, Diana Lynn
Diana Lynn
John Sturges

DVD (Remastered / Full Frame)

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Overview

Fish-market worker Johnny O'Hara (James Arness) is named as a suspect when his boss -- with whom he had a dispute the previous day -- is shot to death in an apparent robbery. When he's arrested, his family appeals to their old friend James Curtayne (Spencer Tracy), who was once a renowned criminal attorney but is now in civil practice. He resists their entreaties until he realizes that no decent attorney will handle the case properly; his daughter (Diana Lynn) watches with alarm, however, for we soon learn that Curtayne is an alcoholic, and that the major factor in his life that pushed him over the edge was the stress of having someone's life in his hands. He discovers soon enough just how much Johnny's life is in his hands when his client refuses to level with him about his real whereabouts on the night of the murder. He also realizes as the trial starts precisely how rusty he is in the courtroom, and the old stresses return -- and with them, his drinking. Curtayne not only manages to lose the case but destroys his career when he tries to buy off a larcenous prosecution witness. His client facing a death sentence and his own life and career in ruins, he's seemingly hit bottom, but then new evidence surfaces, of a nature that not even the ambitious prosecutor (John Hodiak) can ignore. Recognizing that his client was actually innocent and also acting in his silence -- however stupidly -- from the noblest of motives, Curtayne is willing to redeem himself by putting his own life on the line, confronting a killer who has taken more than one life without any compunction whatsoever, and who has no reason to spill anything. The People Against O'Hara was a well-made, largely location-shot crime drama set in New York City, but it wouldn't have been nearly so prestigious a movie were it not for the presence of Spencer Tracy in the role of Curtayne. Ironically enough, he only agreed to do the film on the condition that his friend Pat O'Brien, who hadn't been in a major studio release in a couple of years, be given a large role, which he got as the lead detective on the case, and O'Brien and Tracy get a couple of really good scenes together. The film also includes an unbilled appearance by Charles Bronson, who was still working as Charles Buchinski in 1951, and is highlighted by a superb prominent supporting performance by William Campbell, who seems to quietly relish every nuance of his portrayal of a totally slimy character.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/22/2011
UPC: 0883316338162
Original Release: 1951
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Region Code: 0
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Time: 1:42:00
Sales rank: 29,632

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Spencer Tracy James Curtayne
Pat O'Brien Vincent Ricks
Diana Lynn Ginny Curtayne
John Hodiak Louis Barra
Eduardo Ciannelli Knuckles Lanzetta
James Arness Johnny O'Hara
Jay C. Flippen Sven Norson
William Campbell Frank Korvac
Richard Anderson Jeff Chapman
Henry O'Neill Judge Keating
Arthur Shields Mr. O'Hara
Louise Lorimer Mrs. O'Hara
Ann Doran Betty Clark
Emile G. Meyer Capt. Tom Mulvaney
Regis Toomey Fred Colton
Katherine Warren Mrs. Sheffield
Charles Anthony Hughes George
Angi O. Poulos Watchman
Phyllis Graffeo Mary
Joyce Otis Thelma
Paul Bryar Detective Howie Pendleton
Peter Mamakos James Korvac
Perdita Chandler Gloria Adler
Frank Ferguson Al
Lee Phelps Emmett Kimbaugh
Lawrence Tolan Vincent Korvac
Jack Lee Court Clerk
Tony Barr Little Wolfie
Jan Kayne Girl
Virginia Hewitt Girl
Richard Landry Sailor
Billy Vincent William Sheffield
Frank Hyers Bartender
Michael Dugan Charlie Detective
Lennie Bremen Harry
Jim Toney Officer Abrams
Benny Burt Sammy
John Maxwell Thayer Connolly
Mae Clarke Receptionist
Paul McGuire Male Stenographer
Kay Scott Secretary
Julius Tannen Toby Baum
Dan Foster Assistant District Attorney
Harry Cody Photographer
Ned Glass Magistrate
John Butler Court Clerk
Lou Lubin Eddie
Michael Mark Workman
Maurice Samuels Papa Lanzetta
Celia Lovsky Mrs. Korvac
Charles Buchinsky Angelo Korvac
Bill Fletcher Pete Korvac
Fred Essler Augie
John Albright Waiter
John Sheehan Postal Clerk
Jack Kruschen Detective
Bill Self Technician
Jonathan Cott Policeman
William Schallert Intern
Sam Finn Gambler
Brooks Benedict Gambler
Frank Sully Fishmonger
Ernesto Morelli Fishmonger
Jeff Richards Ambulance Driver
George Magrill Court Attendant
Bud Wolfe Fingerprint Technician
Strother Martin Actor
Yvette Dugay Mrs. Lanzetta
Donald Dillaway Monty
Richard H. Bartlett Tony Korvac

Technical Credits
John Sturges Director
John Alton Cinematographer
James Basevi Art Director
Carmen Dragon Score Composer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Jacque Mapes Set Decoration/Design
John Monks Screenwriter
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
Gene Ruggiero Editor
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
William H. Wright Producer

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