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
Tom McGuire ...
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)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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[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

"Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow" And this little short may well have been ancestral to many a BIG Newspaper Movie to come.
16 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

WE found this old comedy 2 reel short subject quite by accident. It was yesterday, Sunday, June 15, 2008. It was on Teddy Boy's TCM in one of those "Betweener" features. It would have most likely escaped our notice completely, save for the fact that the lead actor's name served to awaken our memory; transporting us back to the early 1950's and the old DuMont TV Network, Channel 9, WGN, here in Chicago.

Roscoe Karns was the lead and title character in the Detective Series, "ROCKY KING, INSIDE DETECTIVE" (DuMont Network, 1951-54) It was a live series of the old Cops 'n' Robbers variety. It was our first encounter with the Actor with the fast talking' and sort of medium-high pitched voice. In looking back, he didn't seem to be the fellow to cast as a Police Inspector.* IN the short COPY (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1929), we have what seemed to be more in the area of old Roscoe's forte. It is a farce, but it's all over the page as far as emotions go; for there are moments of decided melancholy and high seriousness. But, even the bits of business that are strictly comedy seem to vary widely. All of this is packed into a twenty minute talkie two reeler! THE later oft used setting of the editorial offices of a "Great Metropolitan Newspaper" was most likely caused by the popularity of the Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur hit Broadway Play, "THE FRONT PAGE"; which had a long and successful run on the "Great White Way." (Two years later, THE FRONT PAGE would be filmed as a hit feature film.

ANYWAY, this little picture was a sort of precursor of what was to come. That's all I was trying to say, honest, Schultz! STRICTLY from a technical point of view, the short seems to be very primitive and a true "Talkie", in every respect. It would appear that the placement of the microphone did outright rule the whole set of logistics for the production.

ODDER even is the opening. There is no sound, no theme music nor any incidental music; save for MGM's Leo the Lion; who appears to have a case of laryngitis. In fact, Leo appears to be in a sort of anemic condition here. This is one case where MGM's Trademark and Spokes-animal seemed lack-luster and lacking any pep or energy. The condition was so bad, that Leo would have gotten his ass kicked by Monogram Pictures' Tiger; had they met then.

NOTE: * Little did we know then that our 'Rocky King', Mr. Karns, had been in films ever since about 1915. His best roles were in those as a fast talking, comedy relief character, such as a lecherous reporter in HIS GIRL Friday (Columbia, 1940) or in what may well be his signature performance as the obnoxious traveling salesman, Oscar Shapely in Frank Capra's IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (Columbia, 1934), opposite Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable.


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