Crackerjack precode that I liked better in its
first half before title character Warren William goes sappy for Sidney Fox
("She's jail-bait and dumb," warns loyal secretary Aline McMahon).
Maybe its moral debasement of current times, but we want Warren and corrupt kind to prevail always, last reel bring-down having same effect
on viewers who'd like to operate on me-first basis of precode brotherhood. So
who needs WW in selfless mode as here? --- let alone when object of sacrifice
is Fox, borrowed from Universal and a cute enough trick, but worth giving up a
dynamic law practice and Depression-era wealth for? I think not, though Warren does, and that
robs The Mouthpiece of credibility for me. Still, there are blazingly good
moments, especially in early reels,where WW snake-charms juries, beats bank
crooks at their own game, and debauches freely among underworld clientele. Said
to be based on real-life lawyer Bill Fallon, forgotten now, but then a
courtroom showboat of first rank and newsmaker for outlandish tricks to beat
guilty verdicts. Occurred to me while watching that modern day actress and TCM
Festival hostess Ileana Douglas somewhat resembles Aline McMahon. The Mouthpiece is lately out with four other precodes in Warner
Archives Forbidden Hollywood: Volume Ten.