The Law in Her Hands (1936)Directed by William Clemens. Cast: Margaret Lindsay, Glenda Farrell, Warren Hull and Lyle Talbot.
Two best friends Mary Wentworth and Dorothy Davis, work as waitress to pay their way through law school. After, passing the bar exam the girls open their own practice. Their friend, Franz, has a picture of the girls taken, just as gangster Angie Simelli, is throwing a smoke bomb in Franz's restaurant. In hopes to scare Franz in paying racketeer Frank Gordon, protection fees. Simelli, is then arrested and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Robert Mitchell.
Gordon, finds witnesses to swear that Simelli was not at the restaurant at the time of the incident, but.. Mary and Dorothy have the photo as prove. Gordon, impressed by Mary, offers her a job as his lawyer, but.. she turns him down.
Also impressed, Robert.. who, will do and say anything to make her to quit and marry him. She asks him for a year to try and build her law practice. Mary, loses her first case in court when a dishonest lawyer plants a bottle of liquor in a coat she was planning on using as evidence in an important court case.
Robert, wants her to represent a man who has already signed a confession. Mary decides to use the same kind of trick that defeated her in her last case and wins her case. She is then forced to take Gordon's case with a surprise twist ending.
The film, The Law In Her Hands, seems to make fun of women who want careers. The heroine's boyfriend, who is also district attorney, is such a jerk that you wont believe what he does to get his own way. The teaming of Margaret Lindsay and Glenda Farrell, is what makes this a fun film. If you are into the clothes of the 30's, you will enjoy the girls beautiful suits.
Lindsay was often mistaken as being British due to her convincing English accent, which impressed Universal Studios enough to sign her for their 1932 version of, The Old Dark House.
After some minor roles in Pre-Code films such as Christopher Strong and Baby Face, which starred Barbara Stanwyck, Lindsay was cast in the award-winning, Cavalcade. Later, Lindsay performed in a small but memorable role as Edith Harris, a doomed English bride whose honeymoon voyage takes place on the Titanic.
Her work in Cavalcade earned her a contract at Warner Bros. where she became a supporting player, working with Paul Muni, Errol Flynn, Henry Fonda, Warren William, Leslie Howard, George Arliss, Humphrey Bogart, Boris Karloff and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Lindsay was cast four times as the love interest of James Cagney, from 1933-1935. She performed with Cagney in four films: Frisco Kid, Devil Dogs of the Air, G-Men and Lady Killer.
Lindsay co-starred with Bette Davis in four films: 1934's Fog Over Frisco; in 1935's Dangerous (for which Davis won her first Best Actress Academy Award); in Bordertown, co-starring Paul Muni, and as Davis's rival for Henry Fonda's affections in Jezebel (1938), which earned Davis her second Best Actress Academy Award.
The Law in Her Hands (1936), she performed a leading role as a mob lawyer. It was rare among gangster films of the 30's to have a female in such a male-dominated role. Made after the Motion Picture Production Code came into effect, The Law in Her Hands was forced into a reactionary stance towards the gender switch and concluded with a plot twist that was the complete opposite of the Pre-Code period (1929–1934), when "female characters on the screen could say, do and be whatever they wanted".
Lindsay's best known film role was, The House of the Seven Gables in 1940, with George Sanders and Vincent Price. Her 1940s film series work in Hollywood included: Ellery Queen series from 1940-1942.
Lindsay, performed in a supporting role in the 1942 film, The Spoilers, starring John Wayne and in Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street in 1945. While her work in the late 1940s would occasionally involve a supporting role in MGM films like Cass Timberlane with Spencer Tracy, her film career faded, soon after.
She returned to the stage and co-starred with Franchot Tone, in The Second Man. 1950s and 1960s She made her television debut in 1950 in, The Importance of Being Earnest. More television work soon followed. Lindsay performed in only four films during the 1950s and two in the 1960s. Her final feature film was, Tammy and the Doctor (1963).
Lindsay lived with her sister Helen in Hollywood. Later in life, she lived with her youngest sister Mickie. Despite being romantically linked to actors such as William Gargan and Edward Norris, she never married.
Margaret Lindsay's sister, Jane Kies (1909–1985), was also an actress under the name of Jane Gilbert. In 1940, Jane married the son of Hedda Hopper, actor William Hopper, best known for his role as Paul Drake in the Perry Mason television series. Their daughter Joan was born in 1942, and the couple divorced in the early 1960s. Lindsay's niece Peggy Kenline and great-nephew Brad Yates were also actors.