The initial entry in the Pine-Thomas series based on the "Big Town" radio series finds Steve Wilson as a newly-hired managing editor brought on board to liven up "The Illustrated Press" newspaper. He runs into problems with two of the paper's star reporters, Lorelei Kilbourne and Pete Ryan, when his aggressive demands that they employ a yellow journalism type of reporting to build circulation, and they both resign to work for another newspaper. Wilson begins to realize that while his type of journalism does build circulation, it has also brought ruin and disgrace to some innocent victims. Lorelei and Pete are brought back by Wilson with his promise that "The Illustrated Press" will become a crusader against evil. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
While wandering down the dark streets trying to find something of value to pick up out of the gutter, I chanced to come upon a piece of detritus that was as lacklustre as one could ever hope to find sailing into any sewer drain in any "Big Town".
What we see in the opening is a mess of stock footage, balsa wood and cardboard sets and camera setups where the camera is as stationary as any 1950's TV show. It is as if the camera was nailed to the floor pointing straight ahead. Actually, it was nailed to the floor. However, there are a few familiar faces including the handsome mug of Phillip Reed, Hillary Brook and Robert Lowery. Reed plays the head of a great metropolitan newspaper, but he does it like he was auditioning for an ironing board commercial, completely wooden. I wonder why Bob Lowery wasn't given the lead as he was more than capable as a leading man. He once played Batman and was also the manager of a circus company in "Circus Boy". Hillary is the goto gal correspondent who co-starred in many mellers including, but not limited to, Universal's horror flicks and the Abbot and Costello TV show.
After the exciting opening comes a plot in which four different tales are trotted out, only one of which I shall talk about here, primarily because they are worthless. That story delineates the tale of something called "Vampire Murders". Since this flick revolves around a big town newspaper's stories and not a horror movie's segments, don't let anyone suspect blood drooling excitements; instead, expect a reporting team tracking down the story told as ineptly as possible. A young man is released from a mental hospital, but he seems completely innocent of hoary crimes. With nasties popping out of the woodwork to dog his every step, he decides the only way out is his suicide. When he is rearrested he takes that way out, but all of it is told lacking any kind of finesse or even mystery even though this thing is supposed to be a film noir.
Suffice it to say, if this ever turns up on your very early local cable outlet and you choose to watch it, it could only be for one of two possible reasons: one, you need something to view because you are a fanatic complete-ist or two, you need something to put you back to sleep. With me, it is a sure fire method of inducing coma.
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