The Woman Accused (1933)

Genres - Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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On the eve of her marriage to Cary Grant, socialite Nancy Carroll is visited by her sadistic ex-lover Louis Calhern, who threatens to have his gangster pal Jack LaRue rub out Grant if Carroll doesn't give up her marriage plans. She responds by killing Calhern with a piece of statuary; a sympathetic housekeeper helps Carroll hide all evidence of the crime, but LaRue, whom Calhern had telephoned just before the killing, has heard all. While on her honeymoon ocean voyage with Grant, Carroll is accosted by John Halliday, a friend of Calhern's who suspect her of being responsible for Calhern's death. Halliday's cat-and-mouse game comes to an ugly head during a mock trial held by the partying passengers. Carroll confesses, but the passengers think she's just playacting. Later on, Grant is informed that Carroll's confession was for real. The couple are met at dockside by Halliday, who has produced LaRue as a witness to the crime. Grant strongarms LaRue into changing his testimony; with no evidence, the DA is compelled to free Carroll. Had this labyrinthine melodrama been made after the Production Code went into effect, not only would Nancy Carroll have paid for her crime, but Cary Grant would also have spent a few years in stir for witness tampering. A Woman Accused is based on one of those "committee" literary works (a la The President's Mystery and Naked Came the Stranger) wherein each chapter is written independently by a different author.

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Keywords

blackmail, bride, old-flame, criminal, murder, luxury-liner, suspect, witness, confession [criminal], mock-trial, protection, arrest, District-Attorney, evidence