Hinchcliffe, the ruthless publisher of a sleazy New York tabloid, is concerned that the ethical journalistic policies of City Editor Randall have caused a drop in circulation. He pressures the newsman to run more sensational stories including resurrecting the twenty year old Vorhees Murder Case. Although the perpetrator's actions were ultimately judged justifiable, and she has been living an exemplary life in anonymity, Hunchcliffe insists Randall revisit the story. Randall assigns Isopod, an alcoholic degenerate, to dig up anything that he can. The unprincipled reporter fraudulently insinuates himself into the Vorhees' home masquerading as a minister and gets the expose he sought. Yellow journalism triumphs, and a decent woman's name gets dragged through the mud again... with tragic consequences. Written by
In the early 1930's, seemingly, only Warner Brothers had the guts to film this type of raw entertainment. Seen today, "Five Star Final" seems to be ahead of its time! It is racy, daring, provocative and is also a rough and tough exposé of the newspaper racket and its unscrupulous tactics. Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh (her hysterical confrontation with the nasty tabloid personnel at the films finale is a real gem), H.B. Warner (the personification of dignity), Boris Karloff (callous), Aline MacMahon, Ona Munson and Frances Starr are all superb. "Five Star Final" is a film that is still enjoyable and delivers a wallop, even by today's standards.
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