The Man Who Talked Too Much

The Man Who Talked Too Much is a 1940 American drama film directed by Vincent Sherman and written by Walter DeLeon and Earl Baldwin; it is the second of three films adapted from the 1929 play The Mouthpiece by Frank J. Collins. Starring George Brent, Virginia Bruce, Brenda Marshall, Richard Barthelmess, William Lundigan, George Tobias and John Litel, the film was released by Warner Bros. on July 16, 1940.[1]

The Man Who Talked Too Much
The Man Who Talked Too Much poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byVincent Sherman
Screenplay byWalter DeLeon
Earl Baldwin
Tom Reed
Produced byBryan Foy
StarringGeorge Brent
Virginia Bruce
Brenda Marshall
Richard Barthelmess
William Lundigan
George Tobias
John Litel
CinematographySidney Hickox
Edited byThomas Pratt
Music byHeinz Roemheld
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • July 16, 1940 (1940-07-16)
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Man Who Talked Too Much is the second of three films adapted from the 1929 play The Mouthpiece by Frank J. Collins, in which a former prosecutor, disillusioned by sending an innocent man to the electric chair, takes the saying "Better that a hundred guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer the death penalty" one step further by becoming a defense attorney for gangsters and adroitly tightrope walking legal ethics. Collins based his protagonist on Manhattan defense attorney William Joseph Fallon, dubbed "The Great Mouthpiece" in the New York press, who had a short but spectacularly successful career before succumbing to the effects of his own dissoluteness at the age of 41.[2]

PlotEdit

Steve Forbes prosecutes a case so convincingly, an innocent man ends up sentenced to die in the electric chair. He quits the district attorney's office and opens a private practice, resulting in racketeer J.B. Roscoe becoming a client.

The money he makes allows Steve to put younger brother Johnny through law school. After a while, Joan Reed, his secretary, and Johnny both become appalled by how unethical Steve has become in his profession. Johnny informs on Roscoe, after which the gangster frames him for a murder. Unable to save him in court, Steve works desperately to prove Johnny's innocence before his brother's execution.

CastEdit

ReceptionEdit

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times said, "Garrulity is a social evil which very few people can abide, and the truth of the matter is that The Man Who Talked Too Much talks too much, too. For a straight gangster picture, which should be fast and concise, it is ponderously slow and windy and as transparent as a goldfish bowl. There are two identically suspenseful sequences, at the beginning and at the end, when innocent men linger painfully in the shadow of the electric chair while people rush around madly to save them. And that's about all the suspense there is."[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Man Who Talked Too Much (1940) - Overview". TCM.com. Retrieved 2015-07-19.
  2. ^ Bryk, William (2001-11-13). "Bill Fallon, the "Great Mouthpiece" and Archetypal Amoral Criminal Defense Lawyer" @ nypres.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley (1940-06-29). "Movie Review - The Man Who Talked Too Much - THE SCREEN; 'The Man Who Talked Too Much' Does So at the Strand-'Sailor's Lady' at the Roxy". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2015-07-19.

External linksEdit