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Blake Washburn blames manufacturer MacFarland for his defeat in the race for re-election to the state legislature. He takes over his uncle's newspaper to take on big business as an enemy of the people. Miss Martin works in the "Herald" newspaper office. When tragedy strikes, Blake must re-examine his views. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You don't see movies like this every day, thank god.
Arthur Pierson, I forgive you. Now that I've finished watching Home Town Story, and figured out the back story, I'm having such a good laugh, tears are coming down my eyes. Actually, it's the viewer commentaries that deserve the credit for the latter.
However, midway through, I would have strangled you, if you were still alive. It was starting to look like a real insult to journalism, a hatchet job on the so called liberal establishment press. There is nothing realistic about what this Blake Washburn character does, namely putting personal opinion pieces on the front page, along with opinionated headlines. No publisher would put a failed politician as the executive editor of a paper where he would be covering the guy who defeated him. The John Hale, Jr. character makes amends for this travesty, submitting his resignation, like a true journalist.
I had to turn this off and pick it up the next day, I was so ticked off. I spent the day mystified about how such a simplistically propagandist film could come out of Hollywood. It was 1951, the height of the Communist witch hunt in Washington, started by a Congressman from California named Richard Nixon. So perhaps this film was made to appease the right wing gods who were throwing Hollywood writers and actors in jail.
I was having trouble imagining someone actually paying money to watch this in a movie theater, even as a B movie second show. I just didn't make sense. One viewer may have hit the nail on the head when he likened it to the movies he had to watch in 7th grade social studies class. For this movie was actually produced by, believe it or not, General Motors, along with something called Wolverine Productions. I found this on the TCM site, but "The Deputy"'s 2004 review on IMDb has this detail: "The film production was supervised by the head of GM's film division, John K. Ford. The film was meant as corporate propaganda for GM ...."
OK, now things are starting to make sense. Sure, as propaganda (or as Americans put it, PR) the movie is a bit obvious and clunky. But, hey, capitalism is entitled to pat itself on the back, as long as it's paying the tab -- about $200,000.
It's not clear where this was actually shown back in the Fifties. Social studies classes? Hey, with Marilyn Monroe in a tight sweater, the guys are going to stay awake! Could that be the clever reason she's in there? The script is pretty bad, but acting by Hale, Donald Crisp and Monroe saves the film.
Of course, the great irony is that Monroe's brief appearance has given this stinker -- which, for all we know, may never have been seen in the Fifties outside of GM's boardroom -- immortality. None of us would be watching this today if it weren't for her, except perhaps on a Christian propaganda station. I wonder if they are, indeed, running it? After all, it's not every day you get to see Marilyn Monroe playing a vestal virgin.
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