MGM dusted down the 1933 script of PENTHOUSE, with only a few changes, and simply re-filmed the story and called it SOCIETY LAWYER.
Because it was the era of the production code in 1939,Myrna Loy’s call girl in Penthouse becomes Virginia Bruce’s night club chanteuse in Society Lawyer.
Walter Pidgeon replaces Warner Baxter as the lawyer who finds he has a friend for life when he successfully defends gangster Leo Carillo in a court case.
Pidgeon’s character becomes more like a private investigator as he investigates the murder of a girl whom his friend ( Lee Bowman) was involved with.
I liked Herbert Mundin as Pidgeon’s butler. (Herbert Mundin,at the age of 41, died suddenly in a car crash two weeks before the film opened in March 1939.)
It’s always a pleasure when perennial extra Bess Flowers gets some dialogue. In Society Lawyer,she is Miss Trimworth,Pidgeon’s secretary and gets the line,
“I’ve located Miss Leonard. she’s at the Lafayette Club and would you like to join her there.”
Well done, Bess! ( IMDB shows that Bess appeared in 27 films in 1939!)
I like one of the ads for the film;
“SHE WAS KILLED 40 FLOORS ABOVE PARK AVENUE. CAN YOU SOLVE THE CRIME IN THE CLOUDS?”
Walter Pidgeon and Virginia Bruce worked well together and made a good team.
Here are some photos of Herbert Mundin, a fine comic actor.