In 1941, before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Ben Fallon (John Beal), radio reporter and commentator, constantly uncovers evidence of spy-ring sabotage to the discomfiture of the police and the government. Ben is interested in Lela Cramer (Margaret Hayes), amateur flyer working for the radio station Ben broadcasts for and, at the request of Grant Neally (Pierre Watkin), his boss, asks Lela to give a job to Frances Prescott (Florence Rice). After several U.S. ships are torpedoed by German submarines, a few miles out in the Atlantic close to New York City, Ben begins to suspect a station employee may be feeding information to the Nazi agents. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The bridge shown on screen is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, but the radio station Ben Fallon works for has call letters beginning with "W" -- which would indicate an East Coast or Midwest location, not San Francisco, California. See more »
Why am I off the air?
I cut you off the air, Fallon. You're supposed to report news, not hunches. You're paid to tell what you know. Facts. Not something you cook up out of that lame brain of yours.
News isn't news when it's history, Mr. Neely.
Ben, I don't expect you to make history. But if you give out any more of these lamebrained deductions of yours, you're through.
Just as you say, Mr. Neely.
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Just before America's involvement in World War II, Ben Fallon, a popular newscaster for radio station WECA of the United Broadcasting System, thinks he might be beginning to unravel the growing story behind mysterious attacks on American infrastructure. Suspecting fifth-columnists, he begins to mix personal opinion into his newscasts, saying that stronger official steps need to be taken to halt the growing danger. But broadcast management (fearing censure by the Federal Communications Commission) confronts Fallon, saying he's overstepping his journalistic bounds and becoming inflammatory by opinionizing during his newscasts.
As friction mounts, revelations come forth from a tipster that a famous American might be connected to the destructive episodes. But the informant is found murdered, and when Pearl Harbor is attacked the reporter's investigations intensify, much to the consternation of his employers who keep insisting on only straightforward reporting of known facts, not conjecture.
'Stand By All Networks' wastes no words or actions painting a concise portrait of complacent isolationist America just before and after the sudden Pearl Harbor attacks and, as the story progresses, you'll be reminded of another attack on America nearly sixty years later.
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