Sued for Libel (1939)

65-66 mins | Mystery | 27 October 1939

Director:

Leslie Goodwins

Producer:

Cliff Reid

Cinematographer:

Jack MacKenzie

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

Modern sources claim that Solly Ward appeared in this ... More Less

Modern sources claim that Solly Ward appeared in this picture. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Oct 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Jan 40
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 39
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
13 Oct 39
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Sep 39
p. 59.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Oct 39
p. 42.
Variety
18 Oct 39
p. 14.
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 October 1939
Production Date:
began late August 1939
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 October 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9280
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65-66
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5620
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Steve Lonegan, the director of a radio dramatization of current events, is slapped with a libel suit when he mistakenly broadcasts that Albert Pomeroy, a prominent broker, has been found guilty of the murder of his partner, Edward Webster, when in reality, Pomeroy has been acquitted of the crime. Convinced that Pomeroy is guilty, Steve determines to avert the suit by launching his own investigation. In his crusade, Steve is joined by Smiley Dugan and Maggie Shane, the two reporters who inadvertently fed Steve the wrong verdict. When Maggie remembers that Pomeroy's secretary, Stella Trent, had committed suicide several years earlier, Steve telephones James Bailer, the doctor on the Trent case. By the time Maggie and Steve arrive at Bailer's office however, the doctor has been murdered. Bailer's death motivates the reopening of the Trent suicide case. While questioning Stella's mother, Steve begins to suspect a romantic involvement between Stella and Pomeroy, and to force Pomeroy's hand, Steve stages a radio reenactment of Stella's diary. Soon afterward, Pomeroy's attorney, Walsh, visits the radio station with information that Webster's wife Muriel, who had testified to Pomeroy's innocence, now admits that he killed her husband. For protection, Walsh sends Muriel to his lodge in the mountains, accompanied by Maggie, and during the drive, Muriel tells Maggie that she lied to protect her husband's investments in Pomeroy's brokerage firm. To pressure Pomeroy, Steve announces that Stella's murderer will be arrested that night, prompting Pomeroy to follow Muriel to the mountains. Meanwhile, at the lodge, Maggie discovers that Muriel has lied about her relationship with Bailer, and confronted with her deception, Muriel admits ... +


Steve Lonegan, the director of a radio dramatization of current events, is slapped with a libel suit when he mistakenly broadcasts that Albert Pomeroy, a prominent broker, has been found guilty of the murder of his partner, Edward Webster, when in reality, Pomeroy has been acquitted of the crime. Convinced that Pomeroy is guilty, Steve determines to avert the suit by launching his own investigation. In his crusade, Steve is joined by Smiley Dugan and Maggie Shane, the two reporters who inadvertently fed Steve the wrong verdict. When Maggie remembers that Pomeroy's secretary, Stella Trent, had committed suicide several years earlier, Steve telephones James Bailer, the doctor on the Trent case. By the time Maggie and Steve arrive at Bailer's office however, the doctor has been murdered. Bailer's death motivates the reopening of the Trent suicide case. While questioning Stella's mother, Steve begins to suspect a romantic involvement between Stella and Pomeroy, and to force Pomeroy's hand, Steve stages a radio reenactment of Stella's diary. Soon afterward, Pomeroy's attorney, Walsh, visits the radio station with information that Webster's wife Muriel, who had testified to Pomeroy's innocence, now admits that he killed her husband. For protection, Walsh sends Muriel to his lodge in the mountains, accompanied by Maggie, and during the drive, Muriel tells Maggie that she lied to protect her husband's investments in Pomeroy's brokerage firm. To pressure Pomeroy, Steve announces that Stella's murderer will be arrested that night, prompting Pomeroy to follow Muriel to the mountains. Meanwhile, at the lodge, Maggie discovers that Muriel has lied about her relationship with Bailer, and confronted with her deception, Muriel admits to commiting all the murders. At that moment, Pomeroy appears and accuses Muriel of framing him. In the ensuing struggle, Muriel escapes and runs outside just as Steve and Smiley arrive. Muriel tells the unwitting Steve that Pomeroy is inside, and after she insists they telephone the police, the pair drives off. To warn Steve of the danger, Maggie broadcasts Muriel's guilt over the radio, prompting Muriel to wrestle with Steve for control of the car. As the car careens over a cliff Steve jumps to safety while Muriel plunges to her death. With the real murderer unmasked, Pomeroy drops his libel suit, and Steve and Maggie decide to marry. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.