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Big News (1929)

 -  Comedy  -  7 September 1929 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 76 users  
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A reporter's marriage is jeopardized by his drinking and he finds himself accused of a murder he didn't commit.



(play), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: Big News (1929)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Armstrong ...
Steve Banks
Margaret Banks (as Carol Lombard)
Louis Payne ...
Wade Boteler ...
Charles Sellon ...
J.W. Addison
Sam Hardy ...
Joe Reno
Tom Kennedy ...
Officer Ryan
Warner Richmond ...
District Attorney's Man Phelps
Helen Ainsworth ...
Vera, Society Editor (as Cupid Ainsworth)
Herbert Clark ...
Gertrude Sutton ...
James Donlan ...
Reporter Hoffman (as George Hayes)
Clarence Wilson ...


Steve Banks is a hard-drinking newspaper reporter. His wife Margaret, a reporter for a rival paper, threatens to divorce him if he doesn't quit the drinking that is compromising his career. Steve pursues a story about drug dealers even when his editor fires him. When the editor is murdered, Steve is accused of the killing. But Steve has an ace up his sleeve that may save him from the electric chair. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

7 September 1929 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the end of the picture, Margaret calls the city desk to phone in the big story, but she's already in the newsroom, where the city desk ought to be. See more »

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User Reviews

A most peculiar way to portray alcoholism.
24 June 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Robert Armstrong and Carole Lombard star in this early talky about the newspaper business. Armstrong plays an obnoxious drunk who, inexplicably, Lombard loves. He constantly shoots off his mouth and you wonder why the paper puts up with him. By the end of the film, however, he's redeemed himself and shows that he's a darn find newspaper man.

The film is odd in the way it portrays Armstrong as a relatively high-functioning and lovable alcoholic. In some ways, it seems to excuse his addiction and presents a very odd and convoluted message. It's also odd in that one of the characters seems to be that of a very manly lesbian. Both are things you never would have seen in a Hollywood film once the toughened Production Code was enacted in mid-1934--when alcoholism needed to be punished and lesbians needed to vanish.

So is the film any good? Well, in spots it's quite good and in others it lets the viewer down. A few of the performances are poor (such as when the murder is discovered near the end of the film) but the overall plot is engaging and worth seeing. But, for 1929, it's actually quite good--had it been made a year or two later, I would have given it a slightly lower score.

For folks like me who simply watch too many movies, it also was a thrill to see Tom Kennedy play a SMART policeman—as he almost always played very stupid ones!

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