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Five Star Final (1931)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 26 September 1931 (USA)
Trailer
1:55 | Trailer
The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Louis Weitzenkorn (based on the play by), Byron Morgan (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Joseph W. Randall
Marian Marsh ... Jenny Townsend
H.B. Warner ... Michael Townsend
Anthony Bushell ... Phillip Weeks
George E. Stone ... Ziggie Feinstein
Frances Starr ... Nancy 'Voorhees' Townsend
Ona Munson ... Kitty Carmody
Boris Karloff ... T. Vernon Isopod
Aline MacMahon ... Miss Taylor
Oscar Apfel ... Bernard Hinchecliffe
Purnell Pratt ... Robert French
Robert Elliott ... R. J. Brannegan
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Storyline

Hinchcliffe, the ruthless publisher of a sleazy New York tabloid, is concerned that the ethical journalistic policies of City Editor Randall have caused a drop in circulation. He pressures the newsman to run more sensational stories including resurrecting the twenty year old Vorhees Murder Case. Although the perpetrator's actions were ultimately judged justifiable, and she has been subsequently living an exemplary life in anonymity, Hunchcliffe insists Randall revisit the story. Randall assigns Isopod, an alcoholic degenerate, to dig up anything lurid that he find. The unprincipled reporter fraudulently insinuates himself into the Vorhees' home masquerading as a minister and gets the expose he sought. Yellow journalism triumphs, and a decent woman's name gets dragged through the mud again... with tragic consequences. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Frank! Powerful! Realistic! A heart-stirring cross-section of modern life. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After its premiere, the film was widely denounced in editorials by the editors and publishers of The Tarentum News, The Bridgeport Telegram, The Labor Advocate, The Knoxville Journal, The Springfield News-Leader, and The Binghamton Press, as well as the Hearst-owned newspapers, for its negative depiction of the journalistic profession. See more »

Goofs

In the 1931 newspaper photo of Nancy Voorhees during her trial twenty years earlier, she is wearing 1931 clothes, not 1911 clothes, as she should have been. See more »

Quotes

Joseph W. Randall: You think this Voorhees story is a pretty filthy mess, don't you?
Miss Taylor: I think that woman's suffered enough... Can't you see what this might do to her family? Oh, you oughta' be ashamed of yourself.
Joseph W. Randall: No, I been in this game too long to be ashamed of myself. I'm gonna' be *one* newspaperman that gets out of this business with enough money to get me a decent old age.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Maltese Asparagus (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

One More Time
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Played on the phonograph
See more »

User Reviews

 
Why did you kill my mother?
6 February 2008 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

This Oscar-nominated film (Best Picture) shows the dark side of journalism as a paper delves into the past of a woman (Frances Starr) who was impregnated by her boss and acquitted of his murder.

Edward G. Robinson (Little Caesar) is a newspaper editor that is interested in boosting circulation and is not concerned with the lives he destroys in the process. He goes after Nancy Voorhees (Starr), who is now Nancy (Voorhees) Townsend and is not concerned that she has not told her daughter (the doll-faced Marian Marsh), who is now about to me married, about her past.

Robinson was absolutely brilliant in the role and ably assisted by Boris Karloff and Oscar-nominated actress (Dragon Seed) Aline MacMahon in her first film.

A classic showing the seedy side of journalism.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Five Star Final See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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