On a slow news day, the wisecracking staff of a newspaper write articles about the serious safety issues of a local excursion steamboat line.




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Complete credited cast:
City Editor John Mack
Jack Carlyle ...
Mr. Thomas
James Donlan ...
Bruce Gentle ...
Frank Pratt
D.J. Flanagan ...
Managing Editor
Jack Hanlon ...


John Mack is the city editor of "The Daily News". He wants to run a series of stories on a ship owner's disregard for safety measures on his vessels. Ship owner McCloskey, a large advertiser in the newspaper, puts pressure on the paper's managing editor, and Mack is forced to squelch the series. A local disaster later that morning proves Mack right. The disaster story affects Mr. Mack in a very personal way. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

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Short | Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

11 October 1929 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


[last lines]
Jimmy: Hey, the boss wants to see ya.
City Editor John Mack: You tell 'im I've gone home.
[puts on coat and leaves office]
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User Reviews

Strange Two-Reeler from MGM
7 November 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Copy (1929)

** (out of 4)

Early talkie from MGM is certainly a strange one. City editor John Mack (Roscoe Karns) writes a story about safety issues on a Steamboat. Soon its owner shows up demanding the story be pulled but minutes later that said Steamboat catches fire and hundreds are dead. The editor then gets chilling news but the story must go on. This two-reeler is like many early talkies in that it contains way too much dialogue. This film runs 21 -minutes but you'd think there was enough dialogue here for five feature films. Most of the dialogue doesn't contain much to the actual story being told but you can't help but think this film helped influence stuff like THE FRONT PAGE and countless other films where the editor or newspaper man are constantly talking fast and rushing around for the story. The film has a very strange mix of comedy and drama as the thing starts off with non-stop laugh attempts but then it grows extremely dark as the subject turns to hundreds of kids being burned alive. I was surprised to see how graphic some of the talk was but I do give the film credit for trying to tackle so much in such a short amount of time. Karns is pretty good in his role, although there's no question that he doesn't handle the drama as well as some might hope. Jack Carlyle, James Donlan and Tom McGuire add nice work to their roles as well. COPY certainly isn't a masterpiece but there's enough here for fans of early talkies to make it worth checking out.

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