On Trial (1928)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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First filmed 1917, the Elmer Rice play On Trial was remade as a talkie eleven years later. The original stage version was hailed for its innovational use of flashbacks, a technique faithfully carried over to the screen. Bert Lytell stars as Robert Strickland, who as the picture opens is standing trial for the murder of his best friend Gerald Trask (Holmes Herbert). A young attorney (Jason Robards, Sr.) hopes to make a name for himself by mounting a spectacular defense for Strickland, but he is nearly defeated by his overeagerness and inexperience. During flashback testimony, however, it is revealed that the murder was justified, as it was committed to preserve the good name of Strickland's wife May (Lois Wilson). On Trial was remade again in 1939 with John Litel as Strickland, but by that time the property had lost its novelty value.

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Keywords

friendship, honor [recognition], jury, justification, lawyer, manager, trial [courtroom], wife