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Workaholic District Attorney Jim Stowell has a well-deserved reputation for ruthlessness. On his desk sits an abacus with skull-shaped beads to keep a morbid tally of the convicted killers he sends to the electric chair. When a mild mannered college professor guns down his cheating wife in a delirious moment of jealousy, Stowell tricks the suspect into a full confession. Hungry for another "bead" on his abacus of death, he cancels a vacation with his own neglected wife in order to prosecute the case. While the shooting appears to be an unpremeditated crime of passion, Stowell is unwavering in his obsession to bring in a first-degree murder charge and the death penalty. As the trial progresses, the relentless prosecutor fails to notice that his own life is moving in a disturbing parallel track with the defendant's - a path likely to lead to unspeakable tragedy. This atmospheric 1938 courtroom drama was directed by legendary film-maker James Whale (Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, Showboat), working with an intelligent script based on the Ladislas Fodor play. Leading man Warren William's sharp profile and rich speaking voice kept him busy with stage and screen roles from 1922 until his death in 1948, most notably as film's first Perry Mason in four releases featuring Erle Stanley Gardner's famed character. Coincidentally, William's leading lady in Wives Under Suspicion, Gail Patrick, whose third husband was Gardner's literary agent, would later become executive producer of the Perry Mason TV series (1957-1966).

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ALP5293 Wives Under Suspicion DVD (1938/Warren William) $5.99