The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929 film)

The Trial of Mary Dugan is a 1929 American pre-Code film produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Norma Shearer. The film is based on the 1927 Broadway stage play The Trial of Mary Dugan by Bayard Veiller, who also directed the film. On stage the play had starred Ann Harding (in Shearer's role), who would come to Hollywood a few years later at the beginning of talkies. This was Veiller's first and only sound film directorial effort as he had directed several silent films before 1922.[1][2] The play was also published as a novel authored by William Almon Wolff, published in 1929. MGM remade the movie in 1941[3].

The Trial of Mary Dugan
Lobby card
Directed byBayard Veiller
Produced byLouis B. Mayer
Written byBayard Veiller (play)
Becky Gardiner (screenplay)
StarringNorma Shearer
CinematographyWilliam H. Daniels
Edited byBlanche Sewell
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • June 8, 1929 (1929-06-08) (U.S)

  • December 13, 1929 (1929-12-13) (Ireland)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States


Mary Dugan, a Broadway showgirl, is charged with murder in the knifing death of her wealthy lover, and goes on trial for her life. When her defense counsel appears to bungle his job, Mary's brother Jimmy, a newly licensed attorney, jumps into the case to defend his sister. Jimmy's courtroom style is unconventional, but he seems to be holding his own against the prosecuting attorney... until a surprise testimony changes the course of the trial.


Cast notes:


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