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
from a solid cast makes this film a must see. No wonder this earned a best-film Oscar nomination! Edward G. Robinson turns in another terrific performance as the tough editor of a sleazy NYC newspaper. Marion Marsh starts out iffy but her final scene is excellent. Frances Starr, H.B. Warner, Aline MacMahon (of course!), and Boris Karloff are all excellent as well. Nice comedic support from Polly Walters as the operator and Harold Waldridge as the office boy. But it is Robinson who carries this ensemble film through its twists and turns and has a few swell lines as well. The only problem is Ona Munson, who is pretty dreadful as the pretty dreadful character of Carmody. Marsh is remembered for her Trilby to John Barrymore's Svengali, but this is a better performance. And what a shame Starr made only 3 films! Her telephone scene is a cinematic classic!
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