They Won't Forget (1937)

90 mins | Drama | 9 October 1937

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Cinematographer:

Arthur Edeson

Editor:

Thomas Richards

Production Designer:

Robert Haas

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Pre-release titles included In the Deep South , The Deep South and Death in the Deep South . A 17 Feb 1937 news item in HR states that Dalton S. Reymond, a professor at the University of Louisiana would be technical director. His participation in the film has not been confirmed, however. Lana Turner's brief appearance in this film earned her the nickname "The Sweater Girl" and established her as a potential star. The following year, when director Mervyn LeRoy left Warner Bros., he took Turner with him to M-G-M, where she signed a long-term contract. Gloria Dickson made her film debut in the picture. The National Board of Review named the film one of the year's top ten and NYT placed it on their ten best list. Modern sources indicate that Ward Greene's novel was based on the Leo Frank trial of 1915. Greene covered the case as a reporter for The Atlanta Journal . In 1915, Circle Film Corp. produced Thou Shalt Not Kill , which was based on the Leo Frank trial. It was directed by Hal Reid and starred Rose Coghlan and Charles Coghlan (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.4445). Reid also made a documentary short on the subject called Leo M. Frank , released a few months before the above film. Other films based on the Frank case include the 1935 film Lem Hawkins' Confession , directed by Oscar Micheaux and starring Clarence Brooks and Dorothy Van Engle, (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2453) and the 1988 NBC ... More Less

Pre-release titles included In the Deep South , The Deep South and Death in the Deep South . A 17 Feb 1937 news item in HR states that Dalton S. Reymond, a professor at the University of Louisiana would be technical director. His participation in the film has not been confirmed, however. Lana Turner's brief appearance in this film earned her the nickname "The Sweater Girl" and established her as a potential star. The following year, when director Mervyn LeRoy left Warner Bros., he took Turner with him to M-G-M, where she signed a long-term contract. Gloria Dickson made her film debut in the picture. The National Board of Review named the film one of the year's top ten and NYT placed it on their ten best list. Modern sources indicate that Ward Greene's novel was based on the Leo Frank trial of 1915. Greene covered the case as a reporter for The Atlanta Journal . In 1915, Circle Film Corp. produced Thou Shalt Not Kill , which was based on the Leo Frank trial. It was directed by Hal Reid and starred Rose Coghlan and Charles Coghlan (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.4445). Reid also made a documentary short on the subject called Leo M. Frank , released a few months before the above film. Other films based on the Frank case include the 1935 film Lem Hawkins' Confession , directed by Oscar Micheaux and starring Clarence Brooks and Dorothy Van Engle, (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2453) and the 1988 NBC miniseries, The Murder of Mary Phagan , which starred Jack Lemmon and was directed by George Stevens Jr. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Jun 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Jun 37
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jun 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
10 Jun 37
p. 6, 14
Motion Picture Herald
8 May 37
pp. 16-17.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Jun 37
p. 58.
New York Times
15 Jul 37
p. 16.
Variety
30 Jun 37
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A First National Picture; A Mervyn LeRoy Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus and arr
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on novel Death in the Deep South by Ward Greene (Harrisburg, PA, 1936).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Death in the Deep South
The Deep South
In the Deep South
Release Date:
9 October 1937
Production Date:
began early March 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
4 October 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7454
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3150
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On Memorial Day, in a small Southern town, Mary Clay and her friend, Imogene Mayfield, go for a soda after they are dismissed for the holiday from class at the local business school. Mary discovers she has left her vanity case in her desk, and when she returns to the empty building, she is brutally murdered. Andy Griffin, the ambitious district attorney who has his eye on a Senate seat, seizes the opportunity to create a sensational case against Robert Hale, the mild-mannered Northerner who was Mary's teacher. The trial attracts Michael Gleason, a famous Northern attorney, to defend Hale, but he is unable to convince the jury of Hale's innocence despite the uncertain testimonies of the president of the business school, Carlisle P. Buxton, the school janitor, Tump Redwine, Mary's boyfriend, Joe Turner, and the barber, Jim Timberlake. Although the media accuses Griffin of fighting the Civil War in the courtroom, his tactics are successful, and Hale is sentenced to death. Gleason appeals to the governor, who knows his professional future hinges on his decision to commute Hale's sentence. The governor sacrifices his career and changes the penalty to life imprisonment, but before Hale can be safely taken out of town, he is lynched by Mary's vengeful brothers. As Griffin embarks on his race for Senator, Hale's wife Sybil demands that he accept responsiblity for her innocent husband's death, but he denies her accusations, and only briefly wonders if justice was ... +


On Memorial Day, in a small Southern town, Mary Clay and her friend, Imogene Mayfield, go for a soda after they are dismissed for the holiday from class at the local business school. Mary discovers she has left her vanity case in her desk, and when she returns to the empty building, she is brutally murdered. Andy Griffin, the ambitious district attorney who has his eye on a Senate seat, seizes the opportunity to create a sensational case against Robert Hale, the mild-mannered Northerner who was Mary's teacher. The trial attracts Michael Gleason, a famous Northern attorney, to defend Hale, but he is unable to convince the jury of Hale's innocence despite the uncertain testimonies of the president of the business school, Carlisle P. Buxton, the school janitor, Tump Redwine, Mary's boyfriend, Joe Turner, and the barber, Jim Timberlake. Although the media accuses Griffin of fighting the Civil War in the courtroom, his tactics are successful, and Hale is sentenced to death. Gleason appeals to the governor, who knows his professional future hinges on his decision to commute Hale's sentence. The governor sacrifices his career and changes the penalty to life imprisonment, but before Hale can be safely taken out of town, he is lynched by Mary's vengeful brothers. As Griffin embarks on his race for Senator, Hale's wife Sybil demands that he accept responsiblity for her innocent husband's death, but he denies her accusations, and only briefly wonders if justice was served. +

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

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