A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment ... See full summary »
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 subsequently living an exemplary life in anonymity, Hunchcliffe insists Randall revisit the story. Randall assigns Isopod, an alcoholic degenerate, to dig up anything lurid that he find. 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
The Evening Gazette is based on the real-life New York Evening Graphic, the most sensational of all the Front Page-era tabloid papers. (Critics called it the Porno-Graphic.) The paper, owned by Bernarr Macfadden, published from 1924 to 1932. At the time this film was made, the Graphic had been losing circulation, because its new editor had been trying to make it a more respectable paper, just like in the film. The paper was best known for its "composographs," composite photographs used to create an otherwise unobtainable illustration. Louis Weitzenkorn, who wrote the original play, had been a reporter and editor on the Evening Graphic. See more »
Joseph W. Randall:
[talking to Jerry the bartender]
Jerry, what do people do who are in trouble and haven't any money to buy liquor? There must be lots of 'em in the world.
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It's amazing to see that the sleazy tabloids we deal with today are not that different from the one portrayed in this picture. They will do ANYTHING and sink to ANY depths to cover a story--especially if it includes sleaze, innuendo and outright lies. In this case, they resurrect an old story and destroy an innocent woman just to sell a few more papers--resulting in a horrible tragedy that was completely preventable.
Although some of the supporting cast is only fair, the lead played by Edward G. Robinson is what makes the picture. He is a pig living in the filth his readers want until he and his paper just push too far and Robinson can no longer live with himself. His rather histrionic reaction is amazing to watch--not so over the top but just full of fury and intensity. A must see little sleeper of a film.
FYI--Humphrey Bogart did a very good remake of this movie a few years later ("Two Against the World"). It's also very good but I would advise seeing the Robinson version first--after all, in most cases the original is better than the remake and this is no exception.
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