A managing editor of a LA newspaper must put together headlines for the next day in a way that'll attract the potential readers, deal with hectic going-ons at the workplace and have a serious talk with his wife about her wish to adopt.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Gatlin
Jim Bathgate
Earl Collins
Whitney Blake ...
Peggy Gatlin
Louise Lorimer ...
Lady Wilson
Ben Quinn
Nancy Valentine ...
Jan Price
Hymie Shapiro
Carl Thompson
Fred Kendall
John Nolan ...
Ron Danton
Jonathan Hole ...
Ronnie Dapo ...


Managing Editor Sam Gatlin arrives in the afternoon and departs early the next morning, having assembled a morning newspaper for Los Angeles. During this implausibly active day in the life of a metropolitan newspaper, Sam and his wife Peggy argue about adopting a child. The reporter's grandson pilots a military plane from Honolulu to New York. A child is lost in the LA sewers (Gatlin composes a warning headline with picture: "Children Stay Out of These"). And copy boy Earl Collins considers quitting after failing to properly deliver a bet by city editor Jim Bathgate on the sex of children being born to a famous actress. Written by Paul Schindler <paul@schindler.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A New High in Screen Suspense! See more »







Release Date:

19 December 1963 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Deadline Midnight  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The story of the girl trapped in the Los Angeles sewer was loosely based on the real life tragedy of Kathy Fiscus of San Marino, California. On 9 April 1949, the three-year-old fell down a 90-foot deep, 14-inch wide uncapped well. After 50 hours, rescuers finally reached her, but she had already died. It was one of the first televised "media events," with more than 27 hours of the rescue recorded by television cameras. History repeated itself in 1987 when Jessica McClure fell down a well in Texas, though she was brought up alive after 58 hours. See more »


After a fledgling writer turns in a news story on her first night as a reporter, the editor sends it to be typeset without even reading it. See more »


Billy: [little boy comes into Gatlin's office and stops by the edge of his desk] Is Mrs. Gatlin in here?
Billy: What's all that noise?
Billy: Is Mrs. Gatlin here, sir?
Sam Gatlin: Come here to me, son.
Billy: [boy walks over to Gatlin, who picks him up and stands him on top of the desk so they stand eye to eye] Sir, what's that noise?
Sam Gatlin: Don't you know what that is?
[boy shakes his head]
Sam Gatlin: They're printing the funny papers.
See more »


Referenced in Law & Order: Criminal Intent: 30 (2007) See more »


Written by Don Ralke and William Bowers
Sung by David Nelson
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User Reviews

Newspaper drama - Jack Webb style
5 May 1999 | by (Indianapolis, IN.) – See all my reviews

I have always enjoyed this movie, which is admittedly corny at times and overly sentimental. However, "-30-", is a movie that is not dull and has a lot of subplots going on to hold your interest. Jack Webb, who also directed, stars as Sam Gatlin, the editor of a Los Angeles newspaper. He's had tragedy in his life and has closed himself off. He's outwardly gruff but has a soft heart. The action in the film takes place during one night, with a heavy rain storm, a missing child and several other stories competing for the front page before the deadline arrives. William Conrad attempts to steal every scene he is in but adds a lot of humor to the story as the city editor who is outwardly gruff but has a soft heart (there's definitely a lot of that in this movie). This movie and the "D.I." are my favorite movies starring Jack Webb.

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