Buckley is an unethical reporter who manipulates the news for his own benefit as much as he reports it. When he is in Paris to get a medal for being rescued from his alleged kidnappers, he ...
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Buckley is an unethical reporter who manipulates the news for his own benefit as much as he reports it. When he is in Paris to get a medal for being rescued from his alleged kidnappers, he finds that his boss, Stevens, at the Chicago Globe is going with his old gal Dolly. When Stevens learns that Dolly is staying with Buckley in Moscow, he fires Buckley. To get his job back, Buckley and Lefty stage a great news story about the shooting of the last Romanoff, but the plan backfires and they are now in line to be shot by the Commissar. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Snappy Lee Tracy's role in his first MGM movie "Clear All Wires" was almost prophetic in view of how he left the studio. At the end of 1933 MGM sent him to Mexico for "Viva Villa" where his behaviour on a balcony in front of a passing parade had him hustled out of the country and saw his MGM contract cancelled. But at the start of 1933 everything was rosy and in "Clear All Wires" he played a high powered newspaper correspondent who almost sparks an international incident when he has to create news out of a vacuum. The studio was extremely happy with him and his ability (like Glenda Farrell) to rattle off the rate of 40 words in ten seconds (Glenda was even faster - in "Torchy Gets Her Man" she gave a 400 word speech in 40 seconds!!) Anyway Tracy confided that he always slowed down his speech just before a rapid fire delivery to give the impression he was faster than he was!!
Buckley Joyce Thomas never lets a no news day stand in the way of a good story. Whether it's finding human interest in the taciturn answers of a peasant, a worker or a new woman of Russia or fast talking his way into the middle of a meeting between Stalin and Lenin, Buckley is always at the forefront, even if he has to side swipe his rival reporters to get the scoop. With his faithful sidekick "Lefty" (Russell Gleason in a pretty thankless role) and his girl, Kate (Benita Hume was lovely but could they have found another actress who had less chemistry with Lee - I doubt it!!!) he is always able to get out of any scrape.
To be honest this is definitely not my favourite Tracy movie - maybe it was just the dour setting and as another reviewer said poking fun at Russia may have been funnier in the early 30s than it is now. The person who comes off best is Una Merkel - but doesn't she always. Her leading lady parts gone and now doing what she did best - golden supporting parts where she mostly stole the show. She played Buckley's former flame who has found a new "daddie" - one who appreciates her voice and wants to see her renowned throughout the Continent. But Dolly is not at all shy about having Buckley in her life again. As usual Una takes whatever small morsel of a part she is given and runs with it, making even a line like "and if I wasn't wearing my shoes, they'd have stolen them too" sound like the funniest line in the movie!! - Buckley had promised her a luxurious "Orient Express" type train compartment but, believing his lies, she found herself on a freight train to Siberia!!!
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