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Packed with suspense that is an timely as it is exciting, "Mountain Justice", now showing at the Met, holds its audience engrossed from start to finish. With almost harrowing realism, it tells how the "Defiance of Youth against the old implacable law sometime results in tragedy."
Finely photographed with plenty of local color and not too many of those beautiful Hollywood backdrops, one exciting moment follows another, the whole building up to an outdoor trial scene that is as nice a job of holding up the mirror as the screen has presented in some time.
Josephine Hutchinson of the Eva LeGallienne repertory company and "Alice in Wonderland" scores again as the daughter of a fanatical mountaineer. Trained as a nurse, she attempts to aid her ignorant and hostile neighbors by her medical skill, but Pa, played by Robert Barrat, is the horse-whipping type, and, resenting the manner in which his daughter "keeps sticking her nose into other people's business", administers several lashings so convincingly that the audience greets his death with applause.
On trial for the death of her father, Miss Hutchinson is defended by George Brent, city slicker lawyer, and since their love has none of the usual cinematic forver, it forms a more than adequate basis for their tribulations. Brent, by the aid of an ambulance, an aeroplane, and numerous howling hillbillies in potato-sack hoods, rescues his love while the audience sighs with relief.
Public Square Trial Scene
Opposed by the witty and wily mountain lawyer, played to perfection by Robert McWade, Mr. Brent nearly sees a miscarriage of justice. The trial in treated as a holiday in true American style and the jury smokes corncobs, drinks from a community dipper, and receives slices of apple from Mr. McWade entirely oblivous to the seriousness of the affair.
Director Michael Curtiz keeps his picture off the ground by his comic talent supplied by Guy Kibbee as the country doctor and the doc's fiancee of twenty years, Margaret Hamilton. Mona Barrie and the amiable Fuzzy Knight do creditably in somewhat conventional supplementing roles.
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