Old tensions and bigotries are reignited by a gruesome murder in the hard-hitting courtroom drama They Won't Forget, starring Claude Rains.
The film opens in Flodden, a fictional southern city, on Confederate Decoration Day (also known as Confederate Memorial Day). Schoolteacher Robert Hale (Edward Norris), who recently moved from New York with his wife Sybil (Gloria Dickson), is unaware of this, and is taken aback when he's brusquely instructed to end classes for the day. Mary Clay (Lana Turner), one of Hale's students, is openly sweet on him, and she feels sorry for the way he's been embarrassed in front of his students. That night, Mary is found dead at the school, brutally murdered (and possibly raped, although the film never says outright.) Tump Redwine (Clinton Rosemond), a black janitor who happened to be at the scene of the crime, is the initial suspect. However, an understandably terrified Redwine claims that Hale might have done it, as he was at the school all day grading exams. The local district attorney, Andrew Griffin (Claude Rains), sees this case as his opportunity to win himself a Senate seat. Rather than go after Redwine, he thinks prosecuting Hale will make for better publicity, given the timing of her death.