A Dispatch from Reuter's (1940)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  19 October 1940 (USA)
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Starting with a small flock of carrier pigeons, nineteenth-century entrepreneur Julius Reuter turns his small company into Europe's most respected news wire service.



(screen play), (from a story by), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Edna Best ...
Ida Magnus
Max Wagner
Albert Bassermann ...
Franz Geller (as Albert Basserman)
Otto Bauer
Dr. Magnus
Sir Randolph Persham
Montagu Love ...
Walter Kingsford ...
Reuter as a Boy
Billy Dawson ...
Max Wagner as a Boy
Richard Nichols ...
Herbert - Age 5
Lumsden Hare ...


Starting with a small flock of carrier pigeons, nineteenth-century entrepreneur Julius Reuter turns his small company into Europe's most respected news wire service. Written by Jesse Garon <grifter@primenet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 October 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Audacia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Pat Flaherty, listed in studio records playing a sailor, was not seen in the movie. See more »


Sir Randolph Persham: You could always retire.
Julius Reuter: What - and stagnate into senility?
See more »


(1862) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
Background music when flags are lowered to half-mast
See more »

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User Reviews

Vintage Warner Biopic with great score
8 September 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I saw this again the other night after many years and was impressed at how entertaining it was. It moves at a cracking pace (so typical of Warner Bros style) and has a great cast of fine character actors (especially Albert Bassermann, Nigel Bruce and Otto Kruger) supporting Edward G Robinson in the title role, who gives a nicely understated performance.

The telescoping of events and the dramatic license with facts are to be expected in a film from this period, and in the main, the film presents a stirring account of how the transmission of news grew in the 19th century. Some reviewers here criticise Warners for not mentioning Reuter's conversion from Judaism to Christianity but anyone thinking a Hollywood studio would tackle such a complex subject in 1940 is expecting far too much. The direction by Dieterle is first rate and the pace is brisk, with the hand of Hal Wallis very obvious in the snappy editing and excision of any superfluous material.

Much was made on the historical accuracy of the sets such as the London Stock exchange) and certainly, the recreation of the House of Commons in London while smaller than the real thing, looked very convincing.

There is much else to enjoy here if you are a movie buff of Warner films from this period. When Reuter & Max are walking through the city near the beginning, we see many of the famous standing sets on the Warner back-lot at the time, including :- the Casa di Bonnyfeather and canal at Leghorn (built for Anthony Adverse): the large church structure built circa 1930, with the pillars & big flight of steps that featured in so many films including The Roaring 20s (Cagney dies on those steps at the end) and Deception (Bette Davis runs up those steps at the beginning) and we even see the large Nottingham Castle Gate with portcullis built for The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1937. Some of these sets were still standing as late as 1975! Above all, there is Max Steiner's terrific score. This tale clearly resonated in him and he produces one of his most arresting and dramatic works, with a superbly heraldic Main Title which reappears throughout at key points of the story, and also Steiner's most gorgeous waltz (for Reuter's wife played by the lovely and underrated Edna Best) that betrays his Viennese background. Steiner's score for REUTER cries out for a modern recording, yet few ever mention it when discussing his work for films.

I think it is one of his finest, the equal to Now Voyager, All This & Heaven Too and Big Sleep. If the film were shown more, maybe it would be noticed by the CD companies.

So, while this may not be the greatest of the Warner bio-pics, it is certainly unjustly overlooked. Let us hope it reaches DVD soon.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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