During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
When Hildy Johnson, the top reporter of a Chicago newspaper announces that he is quitting to get married, his editor, Walter Burns desperately tries to change his mind. When denial, cursing, and luring don't work, Walter resorts to tricks. It's the day before a supposed communist is to be hanged, and all Chicago waits with baited breath. Meanwhile, each of the papers has a man on the story trying to get a scoop or angle for themselves. With a train to catch at midnight to join his fiancé, Hildy is at first not interested, but events and his own habits work against him as the day unfolds, and he can't help but get roped in, especially when the man to be executed escapes and then almost literally falls into his lap. Written by
In an early scene, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are arguing in Burns' office. Lemmon mentions having been out of town covering "the monkey trial." In 1999 Lemmon starred as Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind (1999), based on the 1925 trial of schoolteacher John Scopes, who who arrested and tried for violating a state law that forbade the teaching of evolution in schools. It became known as "the monkey trial". See more »
Walter Burns visits a Balaban-Katz theater while it is showing a Universal Newsreel. Universal distributed this film but the Balaban-Katz chain was controlled by Paramount and would have shown the Paramount Newsreel. In addition, at the time this film was set, Universal distributed Hearst's International Newsreel. The Universal Newsreel was first seen in August, 1929. See more »
You don't mind waiting, do you?
What's there to mind? The night is young, the orchids are smelling, the meter is running.
Just made another nickel.
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I also do not understand the critics on this one. It's fast-paced, magnificently cynical throughout, unabashedly edgy, and the one-liners come faster than zingers on your average sit-com. Plus it captures the world of urban newspapers better than other movies capture the world of almost anything they attempt.
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