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Home Town Story (1951)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  18 May 1951 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 545 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 2 critic

After failing to be re-elected, politician Blake Washburn returns home and becomes editor of the local newspaper. When he notices the influence the paper has on the public, he uses it to appeal to potential voters in the next election.



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Complete credited cast:
Jeffrey Lynn ...
Blake Washburn
John MacFarland
Marjorie Reynolds ...
Janice Hunt
Slim Haskins
Iris Martin
Barbara Brown ...
Mrs. Washburn
Melinda Plowman ...
Katie Washburn
Renny McEvoy ...
Taxi Driver
Glenn Tryon ...
Byron Foulger ...
Berny Miles
Griff Barnett ...
Uncle Cliff
Virginia Campbell ...
Phoebe Hartman
Harry Harvey ...
Andy Butterworth
Dr. Johnson
Speck Noblitt ...
Motorcycle Officer


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

newspaper | senator | See All (2) »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 May 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hometown Story  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite retrospectively being dubbed a "Marilyn Monroe movie" when sold on home video, Monroe only appears in the film for around four minutes total. See more »


Slim Haskins: What got you started on stream pollution?
Blake Washburn: It's a problem all over the country. The companies dump their wastes and ashes into fresh water... something that should be controlled.
See more »

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User Reviews

Awful film
12 January 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

From an artistic perspective, this is an awful film. It did not start as a film originally, it started as a commercial, but was expanded into a movie. The film was commissioned by General Motors, and was never released commercially. 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, except the shoddy manner in which it was done makes Soviet propaganda look like a masterpiece. Basically the plot goes like this: a politician says something negative about the town's largest company. The company president then comes in and makes a five minute speech about how much the corporation has done and the glories of capitalism. Then later on a newspaper writer says something negative about the company. The corporate executive comes in again and makes a ten minute speech about how great their corporation, and every American corporation for that matter is. And so on and so forth. One of the characters is Alan Hale, better known as the Skipper on Gilligan's Island. Marilyn Monroe also has a small part, she is onscreen for less than two minutes. In the end of the movie, the politician/journalist's little sister gets buried in a cave-in. The company springs into action, and uses it's latest developed technology to save her. The company president flies the girl to a hospital and saves her life. The politician/journalist sees the light and how wonderful the corporation, and all corporations are. Barf.

This unreleased GM inhouse movie was on TV as a late night movie recently (probably because it had two minutes of yet-to-be-a-star Marilyn Monroe in it), it was so awful I had to find out who wrote, directed and produced it. As I said, it was produced by GM - the writer and director was Arthur Pierson. Four years later Pierson would direct "Born In Freedom: The Story of Colonel Drake", a 30 minute movie about the beginning of the oil industry. I had read how US corporations produced a lot of these propaganda films (as well as books etc.) in the 1950's and tried to get them out there before they came upon more subtle and persuasive techniques and not this hard, bang-you-over-the-head with Soviet-style shoddy propaganda. If anything, this movie is an artifact of that happening, and perhaps interesting in that respect.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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