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W.S. Van Dyke
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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>
I predict that when junk like Big Brother and The Weakest Link are gone and forgotten from our TV screens movies of the vintage and caliber of `The Murder Man' will still be providing us with superb entertainment.
I love these old thirties `Newspaper dramas' which probably culminated with the sublime `His Girl Friday' and this one stands up well despite lack of realism. Did New York papers really produce fresh editions all day long? Come to think of it perhaps they did in the days pre-TV.
I agree with the many judges who rate Spencer Tracy one of the greatest of all screen actors but feel he goes a bit over the top here, he certainly reined in his performances later. On the other hand James Stewart in his debut (?) appears fully formed with all the shy gawky charm which made him a star for the next fifty years already apparent.
`The Murder Man' is an excellent fast-moving film with a twist in the plot that I challenge you to pick. See this one if you can.
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