This week’s mystery movie has been the 1932 Warner Bros. film “The Mouthpiece,” by Frank Collins, directed by James Flood and Elliott Nugent. The film features Warren William, Sidney Fox, Aline MacMahon, John Wray, Mae Madison, Ralph Ince, Morgan Wallace, Guy Kibbee, J. Carroll Naish, Walter Walker, Stanley Fields, Murray Kinnell, Noel Francis and William Janney. The screenplay was by Joseph Jackson with adaptation dialogue by Earl Baldwin, photography by Barney McGill, art direction by Esdras Hartley, gowns by Earl Luick, and the Vitaphone Orchestra, conducted by Leo F. Forbstein.
Yes, this is the previous version of last week’s mystery movie, “The Man Who Talked Too Much.”
“The Mouthpiece” is available from Warner Archive in Volume 10 of “Forbidden Hollywood.”
Writing in the New York Times (May 1, 1932), Mordaunt Hall said:
Few screen performances have equaled Warren William’s superb characterization of an artful underworld lawyer in “The Mouthpiece,” a picture now at the Winter Garden. This film is also endowed with extraordinarily fine direction, and whatever may be said against its reprehensible theme and the manner in which it is unfurled, the producers can point to the fact that this blackleg member of the bar eventually pays the penalty for his success in winning acquittals for murderers, thugs and thieves. But it is his one good deed in this narrative that sounds his death knell.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Emerson Treacy.
For Tuesday, we have an unhappy mystery woman.
Update: This is Helena Phillips Evans.
Brain Trust roll call: Patrick (Monday’s mystery gent) and Mike Hawks (Monday’s mystery gent).
For Wednesday, we have a mystery woman.
Update: This is Sidney Fox.
Brain Trust roll call: Patrick (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman) and Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery guests).
For Thursday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Ralph Ince.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s petite mystery woman), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s petite mystery woman), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests) and Patrick (Wednesday’s petite mystery woman).
Friday’s mystery guests warn audiences that crime does not pay!
Update: This is Aline MacMahon and Warren William in the final scene of the film.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery mobster), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery mobster), David Inman (Wednesday’s petite mystery guest) and SylviaE (mystery movie and mystery guests).