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Park Row (1952)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 785 users  
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In New York's 1880's newspaper district a dedicated journalist manages to set up his own paper. It is an immediate success but attracts increasing opposition from one of the bigger papers ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Evans ...
Phineas Mitchell
Mary Welch ...
Charity Hackett
Bela Kovacs ...
Ottmar Mergenthaler
Herbert Heyes ...
Josiah Davenport
Tina Pine ...
Jenny O'Rourke
George O'Hanlon ...
Steve Brodie
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Dan O'Rourke
Forrest Taylor ...
Charles A. Leach
Don Orlando ...
Mr. Angelo
Neyle Morrow ...
Thomas Guest
Dick Elliott ...
Jeff Hudson
Stuart Randall ...
Mr. Spiro
Dee Pollock ...
Rusty
Hal K. Dawson ...
Mr. Wiley
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Storyline

In New York's 1880's newspaper district a dedicated journalist manages to set up his own paper. It is an immediate success but attracts increasing opposition from one of the bigger papers and its newspaper heiress owner. Despite the fact he rather fancies the lady the newsman perseveres with the help of the first Linotype machine, invented on his premises, while also giving a hand with getting the Statue of Liberty erected. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Street of rogues... reporters... and romance!

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

12 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Dama de Preto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-stars Mary Welch and Herbert Heyes died on the same day: May 31, 1958. See more »

Quotes

Phineas Mitchell: The press is good or evil according to the character of those who direct it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Instead of "The End", the picture ends with "Thirty"; newspaper jargon for "that's all. There ain't no more!" See more »

Connections

Featured in The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Fuller's labour of love - repetitious, but sometimes dynamic
11 June 2010 | by (advicetothelovelorn.blogspot.com) – See all my reviews

Park Row (Samuel Fuller, 1952) – Maverick director and former tabloid hack Sam Fuller made 22 features. This 1952 labour of love remained his favourite: a hymn to the founders of modern American journalism that begins with a long, sentimental speech about the titans of Park Row (America's Fleet Street) and features a great action sequence in which crusading editor Gene Evans repeatedly dashes a low-level gangster's head against a statue of Benjamin Franklin. Nice.

Our story proper begins in that most Fuller-ish of places, a saloon. There, a bunch of hacks on New York's bestselling daily, The Star, spends their evenings swilling booze and exchanging dreams and bitter bon mots. When idealistic reporter Gene Evans takes a break from the bar to nail an epitaph to the grave of an executed man that reads 'Murdered by The Star' – an acerbic bolt of pure fury from Fuller that's among the neatest things he ever did – the 'paper's owner (Mary Welch) marches in, sacking him and his chums on the spot.

So Evans starts up the 'paper he's always dreamt of – The Globe – and cheery, impressionable young buck George O'Hanlon throws himself off the Brooklyn Bridge for a laugh, giving him a first-rate first splash. But Welch doesn't take such competition lying down, especially not from a man she quite fancies, and so begins a circulation war that spills over into resentment, hatred and good old-fashioned violence.

As you would expect, Fuller has a real feel for the material, filling his script with the usual insider terminology and slang. Leaving just enough in his account for some vodka and cigars, the writer-director-producer spent the rest of his savings – some $200,000 accrued making hit war films – on this pet project. Much of the cash went on a fastidiously complete recreation of the Park Row of his memory, including a multitude of four-storey buildings. The film's designers queried his logic, saying the tops of the structures would never be seen on camera. Fuller said he didn't care: "I had to see it all. I had to know everything was there, exact in every detail." The sets are constructed in an ingenious way that allows Fuller's camera to wind his way through the nooks and crannies of the offices, the intensity of the shooting schedule belied by the wealth of innovation behind the camera. The director's crab dolly, a wheeled platform that allowed the camera to move in any direction, aids the spectacular direction, getting us up close and personal during Evans' periodic stomps up and down the titular street, generally looking for someone to thump.

Park Row is a punchy, sometimes dynamic blend of heartfelt sentiment and acerbic cynicism that could only have come from one director. Whilst it occasionally appears over-earnest or self-congratulatory, and has too much repetition across its 80 minutes, it's flavourful and immersive, with a no-name cast that ideally suits its ink-stained universe.


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