George Nichols Jr.

George Nichols Jr. – The Big Game (1936)

Plot Synopsis
Future best-selling novelist Irwin Shaw made his screenwriting bow with the modest RKO Radio sports drama The Big Game. The story revolves around the efforts by a group of crooked gamblers to fix the outcomes of college football games. When star quarterback Clark (Philip Huston) refuses to be bribed, the villains kidnap him on the eve of the titular Big Game. Clark is rescued by his burly teammates just in the nick of time, but the film’s not over yet: there’s a riot on the football field during the final scenes, reportedly inspired by a real-life incident during a 1935 NYU-Fordham game. Adding to the enjoyment of The Big Game is the presence of several genuine members of the 1936 All-American football squad: The University of Chicago’s Jay Berwanger, Notre Dame’s William Shakespeare, Southern Methodist’s Bobby Wilson, NYU’s Irwin “King Kong” Klein, Ohio State’s Gomer Jones, and Stanford’s Robert “Bones” Hamilton, Monk Moscrip and Frank Alustiza. Read More »

George Nichols Jr. – Portia on Trial (1937)

Lady lawyer Portia Merryman (Frieda Inescourt) defends woebegone Elizabeth Manners (Heather Angel), who is on trial for shooting her lover Earle Condon (Neil Hamilton). Ironically, Portia herself had once had an affair with Earle’s father, powerful publisher John Condon (Clarence Kolb). She has a pretty good idea of what is going on in Elizabeth’s head, since she herself was on the verge of killing Condon when he ruthlessly took custody of her illegitimate son (not Earle, though that certainly would have brought things full circle). As Portia toils and strains to free her client, she carries on a romance with Dan Foster (Walter Abel) — the attorney for the prosecution. LA Law and The Practice have nothing on this one! Read More »