Mike Reese, yellow journalist and antihero, prints a story that leads to a gang killing, and is blacklisted from the city papers under suspicion of ties with racketeer Carl Durham. So, with a shrug, he makes the suspicion come true, then elbows his way into the editorship of the local paper in a small town where, opportunely, a sensational murder case threatens to destroy the family of newspaper magnate E.J. Stanton. When a black servant is made the patsy for this killing, Reese helps himself by helping her...but proves a dangerous ally.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Title is misleading - but a solid 'B' picture anyway
Why 'The Underworld Story'? I guess there are some underworld types present but the emphasis is not on the underworld. It's a story about a newspaper editor who has lost his moral compass and moves to the sticks. This is one very few pictures in which Dan Duryeas' name is above the title, and he does an excellent job. Those of us who count him among our favorite character actors will not be disappointed in his star turn here. Complete with sardonic grin and usual wisecracks, he is in his element as the editor-in-search-of-scruples.
It carries the Warner Bros. patina - a gritty crime melodrama with a mix of social commentary and thick-ear rough stuff, and with a curious collection of supporting characters. Howard Da Silva, Gale Storm, Michael O'Shea and Harry Shannon all do themselves credit and Herbert Marshall(?) also manages to fit in.
This is a good semi-noir. It starts off as one but switches in mid-picture to straight drama and then back again. Only 90" long, it holds your interest throughout. It may not sound promising but sometimes you can't judge a movie by its title.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this