Counselor-at-Law (1933): William Wyler Directs John Barrymore

Adapted from the famous play by Elmer Rice, Counsellor-at-Law is the story of a successful Jewish lawyer named George Simon (John Barrymore).

Simon is in a bind: His wife, Cora Simon (Doris Kenyon), and children look down upon him because of his humble background, while his mother reprimands him for turning his back on his Jewish heritage.

He is threatened with disbarment when a rival digs up a can of legal wrongdoing in Simon’s past. He then discovers that his wife has been unfaithful. Looking out the window of his Empire State Building office, he contemplates suicide.

But Simon is brought to his senses by his faithful secretary (Bebe Daniels), who has been in love with him.

The poignant direction by William Wyler elevates the material above his theatrical and melodramatic trappings.

Running time: 78 minutes.

Directed by William Wyler

Written by Elmer Rice

DVD: February 25, 2003