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Counsellor-at-Law

Released Dec 25, 1933 1h 18m Comedy Drama List
100% Tomatometer 13 Reviews 79% Audience Score 100+ Ratings
George Simon (John Barrymore) is a successful New York City lawyer who climbed out of a Jewish ghetto to become one of the most respected men in the business. But with a high-class wife (Doris Kenyon) and a reputation to protect, George is secretive about his early life. When the discovery of a misstep from his past threatens his career, and infidelity damages his marriage, Simon's life starts to spiral out of control, with only dedicated secretary Regina (Bebe Daniels) there to keep him afloat. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (13) Critics Reviews
Matt Brunson Film Frenzy There are many reasons why William Wyler is considered one of the all-time great film directors, and Counsellor at Law shows at least one example why. Rated: 3.5/4 Apr 30, 2023 Full Review Sarah Boslaugh TheArtsStl ...restricting the action to the law offices works well on screen because it focuses attention on the fast-paced dialogue and allows the able cast, many of whom also appeared in the Broadway production, to show what they could do. Rated: 6/10 Mar 31, 2023 Full Review Meyer Levin (Patterson Murphy) Esquire Magazine Of the current epidemic of lawyer-pictures, "Counsellor-at-Law" is-the best. John Barrymore doesn't fit the part as did Paul Muni, but Elmer Rice's excellent storycraftsmanship carries the picture through. May 5, 2020 Full Review Ann Ross Maclean's Magazine Counsellor at Law is brisk and absorbing acting, if rather exhausting... Jul 23, 2019 Full Review Helen Brown Norden Vanity Fair John Barrymore trying to act kosher, but running a poor second to Paul Muni, who played the role on the stage. The film introduces a refreshing proletarian note into Hollywood, however, and is well directed by William Wyler. Jun 6, 2019 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion A swift, captivating record of '30s theatrical tropes Aug 5, 2010 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (12) audience reviews
Audience Member Astounding performance by Barrymore. He magically transformed himself into a street-wise second-generation immigrant raised on the streets of New York. And it was fun watching the assortment of 1930's ethnic New Yorkers created by Elmer Rice, the master of the genre (see Street Scene). Barrymore's marriage was questionable, but everything else flowed along smoothly and enjoyably. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review bill t I mean, if I was taking nominees for movies I don't quite understand, even at the halfway mark, this would get in easily. People are talking a million miles a second, and they're just coming in and out of the fabulous offices of this attorney. I couldn't follow it at all, which saddens me. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member imagine my surprise to find a movie I hadn't seen from my fave old Hollywood director and its a precode gem= double happiness!! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member A film which makes great use of its setting, with the action taking place during the course of a day and entirely in the attorney's office which is populated by colourful personages. John Barrymore's pivotal performance as the attorney is a great character study, while the fast paced dialogue makes the story move at an exciting pace. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Audience Member I adore Barrymore in this film Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member another early drama from the master wyler one my fave directors Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Counsellor-at-Law

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis George Simon (John Barrymore) is a successful New York City lawyer who climbed out of a Jewish ghetto to become one of the most respected men in the business. But with a high-class wife (Doris Kenyon) and a reputation to protect, George is secretive about his early life. When the discovery of a misstep from his past threatens his career, and infidelity damages his marriage, Simon's life starts to spiral out of control, with only dedicated secretary Regina (Bebe Daniels) there to keep him afloat.
Director
William Wyler
Producer
Carl Laemmle Jr.
Screenwriter
Elmer Rice
Distributor
Universal Pictures
Production Co
Universal Pictures
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Dec 25, 1933, Original
Release Date (DVD)
Jun 11, 2007
Runtime
1h 18m