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
In a 1954 live TV adaptation, 'Mae Clarke,' best known for the grapefruit scene with 'James Cagney' in 'The Public Enemy,' played Nancy Voorhees Townsend. 'Joanne Woodward,' then only 24, played her daughter Jenny. See more »
[Confronting the creeps at the newspaper - Hinchecliffe, Randall, Isopod - whose sensationalistic tabloid journalism destroyed his wife's parents]
You needn't be frightened. There won't be any more murders. And it won't do any good to tell you what you've done. You'll go on hunting down little, unimportant people who can't fight back. You'll go on with your filthy newspaper pulling the clothing off women and selling their naked souls for two cents. You've grown rich on filth - and no one's ever ...
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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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