The Man Who Dared (1939)

60 mins | Drama | 3 June 1939

Director:

Crane Wilbur

Writer:

Lee Katz

Producer:

Bryan Foy

Cinematographer:

Arthur L. Todd

Editor:

Harold McLernon

Production Designer:

Charles Novi

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

This film, which was copyrighted under the title The Man Who Dared , was Crane Wilbur's first feature for Warner Bros. and was a remake of their 1931 film Star Witness (see below). Star Witness was also a working title for this film, as were It Did Happen , Hero for a Day and I Am Not Afraid . The film was reviewed under the latter two titles. According to a HR pre-release news item, Frank Heath was replaced by Russ Saunders as assistant director soon after filming began. A NYT article notes the film was one of a number of films that were in violation of a Hays Production Code provision that required that all wrong-doers depicted in a film must suffer retribution by the film's end, and that law enforcement officials must always be champions of good. Although they are punished in the end, the mayor and the police department in the film are shown as being responsible for much of the city's crime.
       Oct and Nov 1939 HR news items note that Frank Shaw, a former mayor of Los Angeles who was forced out of office in Oct 1938 by a political reform group, filed a $1,000,000 lawsuit against Warner Bros., claiming he was used as the prototype for the corrupt mayor character, and that the film intimated that he was behind the bombing of a private investigator named Harry Raymond. Shaw also contended that former Los Angeles police captain Earle Kynette was libelously portrayed in the picture as the corrupt police captain. Kynette was, ... More Less

This film, which was copyrighted under the title The Man Who Dared , was Crane Wilbur's first feature for Warner Bros. and was a remake of their 1931 film Star Witness (see below). Star Witness was also a working title for this film, as were It Did Happen , Hero for a Day and I Am Not Afraid . The film was reviewed under the latter two titles. According to a HR pre-release news item, Frank Heath was replaced by Russ Saunders as assistant director soon after filming began. A NYT article notes the film was one of a number of films that were in violation of a Hays Production Code provision that required that all wrong-doers depicted in a film must suffer retribution by the film's end, and that law enforcement officials must always be champions of good. Although they are punished in the end, the mayor and the police department in the film are shown as being responsible for much of the city's crime.
       Oct and Nov 1939 HR news items note that Frank Shaw, a former mayor of Los Angeles who was forced out of office in Oct 1938 by a political reform group, filed a $1,000,000 lawsuit against Warner Bros., claiming he was used as the prototype for the corrupt mayor character, and that the film intimated that he was behind the bombing of a private investigator named Harry Raymond. Shaw also contended that former Los Angeles police captain Earle Kynette was libelously portrayed in the picture as the corrupt police captain. Kynette was, in fact, convicted of the attempted murder of Raymond in Jun 1938. Warner Bros. responded to the charges by stating that the film was a remake of a film made many years before. The studio reportedly capitalized on the publicity generated by the lawsuit and advertised the film on the East Coast as "The Ex-Mayor's Libel Suit Picture." Information on the outcome of the suit has not been located. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Apr 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Sep 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jan 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 39
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 39
p. 6.
Motion Picture Daily
5 Apr 39
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Apr 39
p. 59.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Apr 39
p. 61.
New York Times
12-Feb-39
---
Variety
5 Apr 39
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Scr
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Hero for a Day
I Am Not Afraid
It Did Happen
Star Witness
City in Terror
Release Date:
3 June 1939
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 4 April 1939
Production Date:
early January--early February 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 June 1939
Copyright Number:
LP8883
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
5081
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The Carter family enjoys a peaceful dinner when the sound of an explosion from next door shatters their quiet. Rushing to the window, the family witnesses a police lieutenant making a hasty exit from their neighbor's bombed-out garage. The neighbor, a leader of the reform party, lies dead on the floor of the garage, and the Carters' testimony becomes District Attorney Stephen Palmer's only hope in convicting the suspected killer, gangster Nick Bartel. Before reaching the witness stand, however, the family finds itself the target of Bartel's brutal attacks and intimidating threats. After father Matthew is beaten and little Ted is kidnapped by the gangsters, grandpa Ulysses Porterfield, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, decides he will tolerate no more intimidation. Although Palmer belabors his case in court, Bartel's acquittal appears inevitable because of the lack of evidence. While searching for his grandson, the grandfather is himself taken hostage by the thugs, but manages to escape. Grandpa then locates the building in which Ted is being held hostage and effects a rescue. Grandfather and grandson then rush to the courthouse, arriving just in time to take the witness stand. After attesting to Bartel's treachery, the Carters also implicate the mayor's office in the ... +


The Carter family enjoys a peaceful dinner when the sound of an explosion from next door shatters their quiet. Rushing to the window, the family witnesses a police lieutenant making a hasty exit from their neighbor's bombed-out garage. The neighbor, a leader of the reform party, lies dead on the floor of the garage, and the Carters' testimony becomes District Attorney Stephen Palmer's only hope in convicting the suspected killer, gangster Nick Bartel. Before reaching the witness stand, however, the family finds itself the target of Bartel's brutal attacks and intimidating threats. After father Matthew is beaten and little Ted is kidnapped by the gangsters, grandpa Ulysses Porterfield, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, decides he will tolerate no more intimidation. Although Palmer belabors his case in court, Bartel's acquittal appears inevitable because of the lack of evidence. While searching for his grandson, the grandfather is himself taken hostage by the thugs, but manages to escape. Grandpa then locates the building in which Ted is being held hostage and effects a rescue. Grandfather and grandson then rush to the courthouse, arriving just in time to take the witness stand. After attesting to Bartel's treachery, the Carters also implicate the mayor's office in the crimes. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.