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Steve Grey, reporter for the Daily Star, has a habit of scooping all the other papers in town. When Henry Mander is investigated for the murder of his shady business partner, Grey is one step ahead of the police to the extent that he often dictates his story in advance of its actual occurrence. He leads the police through an 'open and shut' case resulting in Mander being tried, convicted and sentenced to death. Columnist Mary Shannon is in love with Steve but she sees him struggle greatly with his last story before Mander's execution. When she starts typing out the story from his recorded dictation, she realizes why. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Steve Grey (Spencer Tracy) is the best homicide newspaper journalist in the city: they call him "the Murder Man." If there's a murder, he'll get all the inside information, and he'll have it on the press first. That he always succeeds despite a debilitating weakness for alcohol is considered by colleagues simply a part of his genius. In the killing of investment broker (read: con artist) James Spencer Halford snipered in a car from a streetside shooting gallery Grey is once again on the frontline, with an uncanny knack for reporting murder details before even the police know them.
Grey plays the story from both sides, as a pivotal witness in the murder case against Henry Mander, the victim's business associate, and as a reporter ostensibly reporting the unbiased facts (intriguingly, it's a two-way street, since Grey often twists the facts to his advantage). This MGM drama, which I had expected to be as grim as the similarly- themed 'Crime Without Passion' with Claude Rains, is surprisingly light- hearted in tone for the most part. Particular amusement is provided by the lanky young form of Jimmy Stewart, boasting a cheerful cockeyed grin in his feature debut. Jimmy's first ever words in a prolific movie career? "Hi, Joe!"
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