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The Famous Ferguson Case (1932)

 |  Crime, Drama  |  14 May 1932 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 102 users  
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A foreword warns against the peril of yellow journalism, and the story illustrates it by following events in the upstate New York town of Cornwall after prominant financier George Ferguson ... See full summary »

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(story) (as Courtenay Terrett) , (adaptation) (as Harvey Thew) , 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Martin Collins
Vivienne Osborne ...
Mrs. Marcia Ferguson
Adrienne Dore ...
Antoinette 'Toni' Martin
Tom Brown ...
Kenneth Thomson ...
Bob Parks
Leslie Fenton ...
Perrin
Oscar Apfel ...
Mr. Brooks
Walter Miller ...
Cedric Works
Purnell Pratt ...
George M. Ferguson
Willard Robertson ...
Sheriff
George Meeker ...
Jigger Bolton
Russell Hopton ...
Rusty Callahan
...
Newsboy (as George MacFarlane)
...
Judd Brooks (as Leon Waycoff)
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Storyline

A foreword warns against the peril of yellow journalism, and the story illustrates it by following events in the upstate New York town of Cornwall after prominant financier George Ferguson is killed. Two types of New York City journalists descend on Cornwall, one interested in facts, the other in getting sensational "news". Mrs. Ferguson is known to have been friendly with a local banker. The Fergusons quarrel the evening he is killed (by "burglers", his wife tells the police later), and she is arrested, spurred on by the "bad" journalists, who also manage to badger the banker's wife into the hospital. Meanwhile, young Bruce Foster runs the Cornwall Courier, and shows the big city reporters how to dig out real news while they attempt to subvert justice for their own ends. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

newspaper | See All (1) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

14 May 1932 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[printed foreword]: This story deals with a certain phase of newspaper work. The STANDARD DICTIONARY defines news as: "Fresh information concerning something that has recently taken place." But quite frequently events occur which by their nature are so sensational - from the angle of sex, violence, the standing of the parties involved, or what not - - that they are reported in some newspapers long after there is any "fresh information" and when nothing at all "has recently taken place". Legitimate newspapers ...
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Soundtracks

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
(uncredited)
Music by Ernest Ball
Lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff
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User Reviews

Great Idea but Poorly Told
1 August 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The Famous Ferguson Case (1932)

** (out of 4)

A great idea is pretty much wasted due to a weak screenplay in this melodrama from Warner. Wall Street big shot Ferguson is shot and murdered inside his summer home and his wife (Vivienne Osborne) tells the police that she was tied up by some robbers. The case gets some of the biggest newspaper reporters in the country and soon they're putting the pieces together without any evidence and they think the better story would be that Mrs. Ferguson's rumored lover (Leon Ames) was behind the killing in an attempt for them two to knock off the husband. THE FAMOUS FERGUSON CASE kicks off with a prologue warning newspapers about not seeking the truth and instead coming up with fake stories to sell papers. It seems this warning would be even more understandable in 2012 but sadly the film takes a rather interesting story and does very little with it. I think the idea of showing how crooked reporters are could have made for a very interesting story but sadly the screenplay here comes off rather lazy at times and by the time the film's over it's just a tad bit too much to believe. The biggest problem is that the prosecutor here is just so downright stupid that he allows the reporters to pretty much tell him who to charge, tell him what happened and he's also dumb enough to have the reporters write his court speeches. This here is just so sloppily written that I didn't believe the situation for a second. Another problem is that the film clearly wants to get its message across and there's just a tad bit too much preaching instead of actually delivering a strong story to get the point across. The entire cast offers up very good performances but I'd say Joan Blondell is pretty much wasted in her role. Tom Brown is very good as the one good reporter trying to learn the truth and Adrienne Dore is good as his partner who starts to get a big head for fame. Ames is extremely good as the man drawn into this mess. The film picks up a little speed towards the end and this includes a terrifically directed sequence where the reporters are confronted by someone they've damaged. I won't spoil what happens but it's quite powerful but it's a shame the rest of the film wasn't this strong.


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