God Is My Witness (1931)

Run Time - 77 min.  |  
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This very inexpensive independent production represents the first talking-picture adaptation of a Damon Runyon story. Raspy-voiced Bob McKenzie plays a Long Island sharpster who, along with his younger partner (John Arledge), is undergoing a long streak of bad luck. Bypassing the temptation to make a deal with the devil to improve their lot, the two men appeal directly to God, who actually appears, in the form of a Times Square magazine-stand owner (George Grossmith) (at the time a popular Gilbert and Sullivan performer). God agrees to help our heroes, but only on the condition that they go out of their way to help other people, and, harder still, to tell nothing but the truth. All sorts of bizarre and amusing situations follow, involving such Runyonesque types as "dolls" Alice White and Florence Sheffield, beat cop Barry Norton (with a Latin-American accent), hat check girl Joan Marsh, and impoverished restaurateur Clyde Cook. A real curio, God is My Witness is virtually impossible to find today.



con/scam, deal-with-God, lies