MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY starring Dennis O'Keefe


There were two separate 1940s film series inspired by Philips H. Lord's radio weekly Mr. District Attorney; the first was produced by Republic, the second by Paramount's Pine-Thomas unit. Republic's inaugural entry, appropriately titled Mr. District Attorney, eschews the sobriety of the radio original and plays for laughs. Dennis O'Keefe stars as P. Cadwallader Jones, a guileless assistant DA straight out of Harvard. Managing to louse up his first case, Jones redeems himself by revealing that one of his boss' aides is in league with master criminal Mr. Hyde (Peter Lorre). Florence Rice, daughter of sports columnist Grantland Rice, is appropriately cast as a newspaper sob sister. The best line in Mr. District Attorney comes early in the proceedings: When asked what the "P" stands for, P. Cadwallader Jones replies ruefully "Prince. But I didn't want to be whistled for.


This was the second attempt to launch a film series based on the popular radio series of the same name. Adolphe Menjou plays the title role, DA Craig Warren, though top billing is bestowed upon Dennis O'Keefe as Warren's assistant Steve Bennett. Resenting his boss' constructive criticism and presumed interference, Bennett goes astray, ultimately getting mixed up with trouble-prone Marcia Manning (Marguerite Chapman). Warren quickly realizes that Marcia is a no-good, but Bennett refuses to listen. Eventually, two men meet their deaths at Marcia's manicured hands, and by the last reel it looks as though Bennett will be third on her list. A moneyspinner upon its first release, Mr. District Attorney did indeed spawn a brief series, as intended.


" and it shall be my duty as District Attorney not only to prosecute to the
limit of the law, those persons accused of crimes perpetrated within this
county, but to defend with equal vigor, the rights and priveleges of all
it's citizens"   With those words another episode of the TV episode begins starring David Bryan.  Here is a rare look at one of those classic shows.

MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY starring Dennis O'Keefe
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