Deadline - U.S.A. (1952) Poster

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"...and the lawyers are up in the dome right now waiting to explain the nature of their crime with facts, figures and falsehoods. One more 'F' and they won't be drafted."
classicsoncall4 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"Deadline U.S.A" is the story of a newspaper facing extinction, though it delves into a neat little crime story that graces page one prominently during it's final days. What's interesting is that the gangster drama doesn't involve Humphrey Bogart as a mobster or a law man; he's the editor of 'The Day', a paper put on the selling block by an owner family at the advice of their financial attorney. The family's matriarch, portrayed by Ethel Barrymore eventually sees the light of 'Day' so to speak, as you know she will. Her conversation with Bogey near the end of the film is a classic tribute to freedom of the press and the role of newspapers as society's watchdog.

There's another side story going on as well, though it's not entirely necessary. Ed Hutcheson (Bogart) attempts to reconcile with ex-wife Nora (Kim Hunter), and though it appears he's hit a roadblock, winds up winning her back in the end. It's never made clear however what the turning point in the relationship was, since Nora was planning to remarry and abruptly changed her mind.

Classic film fans will enjoy seeing Ed Begley and Jim Backus in roles as newspapermen employed by 'The Day'. The mobster being investigated by the paper is portrayed by Martin Gabel. It was with a bit of discomfort watching Bogey's character get into the back seat of Gabel's car to 'go for a ride'. That scene could have gone either way, especially since editor Hutcheson felt compelled to crack wise with a goon who had murder included in his resume. As for the rough stuff, that was generally handled by Tomas Rienzi's main henchman Whitey, Joe Sawyer in an uncredited role, but a Warner Brothers mainstay nonetheless.

With the clock running out on the newspaper, and a judge siding with the sellers, Hutcheson gets to the finish line with his page one story with damning evidence of Rienzi's complicity in the death of his hush hush girlfriend and her brother. But the film ends so abruptly, there's no time to reflect on the bittersweet finale, not even a shot of Bogey and his ex getting back together for a feel good moment.

If you enjoyed this film, you might want to check out another lesser known Bogart movie titled "Two Against The World", it also goes by "One Fatal Hour". There he finds himself in another media forum running a radio station. Like "Deadline U.S.A." though, it may be difficult to find since neither has been commercially released. You'll have to keep your eyes peeled for a cable presentation, or source it from private collectors.
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Humphrey as a newspaper editor...
This wonderful 1952 film - it must have been approaching Humphrey's last performance - wins on all levels.

It triumphs as an historical curiosity into how newspapers were published 50 years ago, down to the presses and the layouts and assignments, and also for its truly remarkable supporting cast, many of them, some famous, like Ethel Barrymore, Jim Backus and Ed Begley and some part of the Hollywood backdrops in score of movies.

Kim Hunter excels also as the Bogart ex. Martin Gabel eerily predicts the Tony Soprano performance of today as an underworld Kingpin shown with his perfect domestic arrangement.

The scene of the "wake" for the death of the newspaper is wonderful, and also some wonderful camera pans on continuous action in many scenes.

The script is well done and keeps the action moving along, some funny throwaway lines too, particularly in the car scene with the mobster and in his ex-wife's bedroom.

Also it is subtle and understated and not rampant with the 2X4's of some of today's instant-soup scripts. Do not miss this one, Bogie and Kim fans!!

8 out of 10.
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Racing to beat life's deadline
bkoganbing9 June 2006
Deadline - U.S.A. has Humphrey Bogart as the editor of a big city newspaper that is in the process of being sold to a Rupert Murdoch like chain that publishes scandal sheets. His paper is in the process at the same time of doing an expose of notorious racketeer Martin Gabel.

And if that ain't enough for Bogey his wife Kim Hunter is splitting from him. It's the usual story, she can't stand having him married to her and the paper as well.

Growing up in New York in the Fifties we had several newspapers, each vying for a smaller readership. I remember we had the Times, News, Post, Herald Tribune, World-Telegram&Sun, Journal-American, and the Daily Mirror. Some of those you can see are the products of consolidation, there were more in the past. After a printer's strike in the sixties most of them went out of business.

The papers were competing for a shrinking share of readership. In the previous generation, radio competed with the print media and I grew up with that new phenomenon of television. Today we are seeing the effects of the Internet as the individual's primary source for news.

The gangster part of the plot gets started with the discovery of the body of a Virginia Hill like moll, the former mistress of Martin Gabel. While some of the scandal sheets cover the sensational aspects of the murder of a glamor girl, Bogey's paper does some serious investigative reporting and uncovers a lot of evidence. Their work also has consequences including the maiming of young reporter Warren Stevens.

In the meantime the heirs of the newspaper's original founder are looking to sell the paper. Opposing it is their mother, Ethel Barrymore and she has a fine part and is obviously the model for the widow publisher played by Nancy Marchand in Lou Grant. She has one classic scene with Humphrey Bogart where they commiserate over their mutual problems.

Deadline - U.S.A. is a realistic look at the life of a big city paper in days gone by. It's a gritty piece of nostalgia, as timely in its day as The Front Page was in the Twenties. Cast members like Paul Stewart, Jim Backus, and Ed Begley look and feel right at home at their jobs.

The film is recommended particularly for younger viewers who are glued to their computers and television to see how a newspaper functioned back in the day.
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surprisingly timely
blanche-26 August 2005
A very good movie about The Day, a newspaper publishing its last editions, and its aggressive attack on a known mobster. Humphrey Bogart does an excellent job as the editor, and Ethel Barrymore gives a wonderful, regal performance as the widow of the publisher, whose daughters are now demanding that the paper be sold to a competitor.

The film brings up, a mere 53 years ago, issues that are relevant today - the tabloids versus real, factual news, and the meaning of a free press. These debates continue today, but unfortunately, it seems that the tabloid type of journalism is winning. As for a free press - our press might be freer than many, but it isn't entirely free. As anyone who lost money in the great savings and loan scandal can tell you, important stories disappear from the front pages all the time.

Bogart's strong performance is the engine that keeps this film going, and there's a nice performance by Kim Hunter as his ex-wife. Deadline USA reminds us of the good old days, when you could believe what you read in the New York Times.
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Absorbing, gritty drama of newspaper's final battle, with Bogey as uncompromising editor
mlraymond27 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A really great movie for one of Bogart's last pictures. His character is hard-nosed, but low key, a man who doesn't feel the need to prove how tough he is. An excellent supporting cast includes such reliable actors as Paul Stewart, Ed Begley,and Jim Backus as newspaper staff, with Joe DeSantis as the weaselly crook in hiding. Ethel Barrymore is superb as the widow of the paper's founder, watching as her obnoxious daughters sell off the paper they care nothing about. Martin Gabel hits just the right note as mob boss Rienzi, smiling and affable one minute, snarling and growling threats seconds later.

One of the best scenes has Rienzi pick up Bogart's editor Hutchinson off the street and offer him a drink in his luxurious limousine. Bogart asks half seriously if he's being ' taken for a ride', and Rienzi claims he's not a gangster. Moments later, Rienzi loses his temper and smacks Hutchinson in the face. Hutchinson smiles that crooked Bogart grin and says, " That's more like it", telling Rienzi he's showing his true colors at last. The would be respectable businessman is nothing more than a gangster, after all.

This movie is both an antique, in the way it shows how big city dailies were still operating fifty years ago, and surprisingly up to date in its concern with how the public often doesn't really care about the news, and that a lot of what's packaged as news is just entertainment. Bogart's great speech at the hearing to determine the paper's future is a rouser, as he talks about the importance of a free press.

This movie deserves a wider audience on home video than its occasional cable TV showings. It's a great Bogart vehicle, and a fascinating story of the newspaper business, and just a fine picture in general.
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Simply the best
bloompicayune26 January 2002
Bob Greene of the Chicago Tribune has called this the best journalism movie ever made. He is absolutely right.

If you are interested in art movies, see Citizen Kane. If you are interested in screwball comedy, check out His Girl Friday. If it's history you're after, watch All the Presidents Men. If you want to see a classic journalism movie, rent one of the multiple versions of The Front Page.

But if you want to see a movie that actually shows you what life is like inside a newsroom, how reporters work together to get a story, and how "the story" is not always about the big expose but sometimes just about getting the little details right, this is your movie.

You can also watch Ron Howard's The Paper, but it's a pale imitation of this movie.

Unfortunately, this movie is not available on video or DVD. Keep an eye on American Movie Classics or one of the other cable channels, though, since it is regularly featured.
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"Hello Baby..."
Gavno4 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Have you noticed that almost all of Bogie's very BEST and most gritty performances were when he played characters that were dedicated to a noble cause? Rick Blain in CASABLANCA goes without saying... even tho Rick doesn't admit until the end that he IS dedicated to ANY cause.

Charlie Allnut in THE African QUEEN once again became dedicated (at the insistence of Kate Hepburn) to the cause of sinking the Louisa.

Tho his cause was a twisted one born of psychosis, Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg was utterly committed to the cause of making the USS Caine acceptable to his impossible standard of perfection.

In his last film THE HARDER THEY FALL we again see the cynical, world weary Bogie who seems to be part of the problem, but who in the end lets his conscience and character win out; he does what he sees as RIGHT, no matter what the personal cost.

Even in his most underrated performances in the cheap, throwaway films like BATTLE CIRCUS, Bogie was at his hard boiled best as a dedicated MASH surgeon. Alan Alda probably took a lot of his character Hawkeye from Bogie's performance.

Playing the crusading newspaper editor Ed Hutchinson in DEADLINE USA Bogie gives us a tour de force performance, clothed in the utter, incorruptible purity of an honest man who is fighting naked evil in the form of corruption by a gang boss who controls a city's underworld... as well as some of it's most prominent public institutions.

In this one I'm strongly reminded of Jimmy Stewart's hard boiled, cynical reporter in CALL NORTHSIDE 777; Stewart was another actor who really got his teeth into a part where he was on a crusade of some sort.

Bogie hated phony movie tough guys, but oddly he came off as one in a lot of non-gangster roles; his demeanor was so imposing that without violence he could radiate strength and integrity... along with a world weary cynicism that made him seem all the more powerful. In DEADLINE USA we get it FULL STRENGTH and undiluted as he opposes Tomas Rienzi. Violence directed AT him makes him appear all the stronger; the sequence in Rienzi's car where Bogie gets struck across the face with the newspaper shows it; Hutchinson never even flinches at the blow. He only smiles and sneers "THAT'S the Rienzi I like to see".

Bogie's at his BEST in the final scene in the press room... there's BEAUTY in the utterly cynical contempt in his voice as he answers Rienzi's phone call with "Hello Baby..." . We KNOW that Bogie has all the cards in his hand now, and Rienzi's threats are meaningless when Bogie says "That's the PRESS, Baby, the PRESS... and there's NOTHING you can do about it. Nothing". That line makes us want to stand up and CHEER... no matter what may happen to Bogie, he's left us a gift. Right has triumphed.

This is one of his BEST films. It's a great example of why Humphrey Bogart is still, 50 years after his death, one of Hollywood's brightest shining stars.
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One of Bogart's two most underrated films.
bat-125 April 1999
This film was released (as I remember) the same year as The African Queen. I have always liked it more than the latter film. Richard Brooks's prior experience working on a newspaper gives it a genuine idea of what that kind of work is like. The performances of Bogart and Barrymore are very good. I think it's one of her very best. This movie deserves to be seen and appreciated more.
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Everyone is Pressed
pensman7 April 2004
`Stupidity isn't hereditary, you acquire it by yourself.' A great line from one of those films you need to have made every so often-one that glorifies the value of a free press. Bogart is the hard-hitting editor of a newspaper on the brink of extinction. He has to decide whether to fight for the press or his wife. Oh yes, his ex-wife tired of being a `bulldog' widow and is ready to remarry. Will the daughter of the original-now deceased-owner/publisher move on to a less printful husband? Will the publisher's widow be able to halt the sale of her husband's paper? Will the editor be able to bring down a local racketeer/thug/murderer?

No doubt this film will fade into obscurity to be viewed only by a few journalism/media majors doing a research paper on the portrayal of the press in film-assuming they go beyond All the President's Men. Too bad.
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A homage to those great Warner dramas of the 1930's
calvinnme31 December 2009
I don't know if it was intended to copy the fast-paced press room and gangster films that Warner Brothers did in the 1930's, but you certainly get a chance to see what Bogart could have done had he been a star at Warner Brothers during the 30's rather than largely a supporting player. Of course, everything here is taking place in present day - 1952 - but not only does the film reach backwards for its brisk pace, it reaches forward into the 21st century with some of its subject matter. In particular, there is the subject of how big companies buy smaller more effective companies to eliminate the competition, and the subject of inherited wealth and how the companies that formed that wealth are often not appreciated by the spoiled children-heirs.

Here Bogart plays the editor in chief of crusading hard-hitting daily newspaper "The Day", which is about to be sold off by the bored children of the deceased founder. The founder's widow (Ethel Barrymore) unfortunately is outvoted by her ungrateful children, and with the encouragement of Bogart's character tries to come up with enough money to buy her children's shares back from her daughters. In parallel with this is the story of The Day trying to break one last big story before they are bought out - a story that will break the power of a local crime boss who is not taking his possible downfall lying down.

This one is seldom seen and very well done, and I highly recommend that you see it if it ever comes your way.
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Bulldog Edition
telegonus3 October 2001
Richard Brooks' gets a pleasingly weary, stubborn performance by Humphrey Bogart as a big city newspaper editor who is under fire for several different reasons, from at least as many directions, and yet never loses his cool. If anything, the events of the film strengthen his resolve and beef up his already formidable sense of journalistic integrity, which is what the movie is all about. This is a satisfying, unremarkable film directed and written by a man who knew whereof he wrote and directed. Aside from Bogart there is good work from among others Kim Hunter, Paul Stewart, Jim Backus, Martin Gabel and Bill Bouchey. Director-writer Brooks lovingly explores the interior of the building that houses the newspaper, from press room to boardroom. We get a sense of a city within a city, and also of men and women under pressure, doing the best they can. As the story unfolds the building becomes something like a castle under siege, and the relationships between the characters, whether major or minor, become precious to us, as the sense of community within the newspaper's staff becomes increasing apparent, and we are impressed by this unique fraternity of newspapermen, who in the end come to seem like an order of knights in the troubled urban jungle.
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"That's the Press Baby...and There is Nothing You can Do About It"
LeonLouisRicci10 August 2012
Timeless Story of Journalism and its Role in our Daily Lives and the implications and Necessity of a Free Press. This Film actually addresses some of the Reasons that Tabloids, because of the Aforementioned, are a viable and Necessary part of Our Culture.

But of course the Emphasis here is on the need for Balance and the Fate of Our Society if we allow the Lowest Common Denominator to determine or blot out the Truly Unbiased, or Objective Reporting of Events as much as Possible.

The Uninformed Populace cannot make Wise Decisions. That Foundation is our Forefathers First Amendment Intent.

This Film is Realistic in its Setting and the Professionals who Populate the Newspaper. You can almost Smell the Pulp and Feel the Ink Stain Your Consciousness. One of the Best of the Newspaper Movies that has Dated very Little despite Our Modern Platforms and Delivery System Incarnations within the Mass Media.
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Will Tomorrow See Another "Day"?
sol121826 October 2006
***SPOILER ALERT*** Solid newspaper drama that has a two tier storyline involving the hard hitting no nonsense managing editor Ed Hutcheson, Humphrey Bogart, of the big city newspaper "The Day". Hutcheson is involved in a number of crisis in the 87 minute film including his wife Nora, Kim Hunter, leaving him for another man her boss at the advertising agency Lewis Shaefer, Phillip Terry, with his newspaper about to be bought up with it's 1,500 employees.

Hutcheson himself is also giving the pink slip and at the same time, with time running out, tries to get the goods on big time mobster Thomas Rienzi, Martin Gable. Rienzi had his estranged girlfriend former fashion model Sally Schmidt, Ann McCrea, murdered as well as have his thugs work over Hutcheson's star reporter George Borrows, Warren Stevens, who was about to break to case wide open.

Knowing that there's little or no chance to save his newspaper "The Day" editor Hutcheson takes on a local murder case as the papers last headline story that in the end leads straight to city Mafiso chief Thomas Rienzi. Sally Schmidt, known as Bessie Gardner, had a falling out with her hoodlum boyfriend and was later found floating in the river. Sally had secretly put some $200,000.00 of Rienzi's hot money away in a bank safe deposit box that he was to use in fixing the city and state elections.

Given the story Day reporter George Borrows ends up badly beaten by the Rienzi Mob which has Hutcheson go all out to get the mob chief at the expense of his own life and safety. With the help of a number of contacts in the State Boxing Commission Hutcheson gets to smoke out Sally's brother Herman, Joe de Santis,who unwittingly set poor Sally up for a mob hit. Rienzi in an effort to shut Herman up has a number of his hoods impersonate policemen as they kidnap Herman right out of the Day editor room and have him gunned down, and falling to his death on the news printing machines, as he tried to escape.

With nothing on Thomas Rienzi Hutcheson is about to close the paper after the last and final edition but it's then when elderly Mrs. Schmidt, Kasia Orzazewski, Sally and Herman's mom shows up at the Day offices with enough evidence, that Sally secretly left her, to put the grinning and feeling secure Thomas Rienzi and his gang away for the rest of their lives.

One of Humphrey Bogart's most underrated and forgotten films. "Deadline USA" is by far one, if not, the best motion picture about not only the newspaper business but free speech ever to come out of Hollywood in the last 50 or so years. We see in the film how the news is handled, by trying to ascertain and then confirm it, by a top and respected city daily. it was very sad to see ****SPOILER***that in the end Hutcheson lost his battle to keep "The Day" from going under by it being swallowed up by it's competition the tabloid newspaper "The Standard". Hutchenson getting the big mob boss Thomas Rienzi put out of action and behind bars was more then worth his courageous but losing effort.
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At The End Of The Day.
Robert J. Maxwell14 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It all seems a little antique now -- newspapers and the power they wielded. It's probably difficult for anyone growing up now to grasp the fact that the radio and newspapers were virtually the only sources of news available to most people.

For a few cents you could buy a paper that not only presented you with current events but a crossword puzzle, the race results, tomorrow's weather, a political cartoon, an editorial about the latest geopolitical crisis or about the disrepair of the local sewer system, the exact times of sunrise and sunset, the names of ships entering the harbor, your horoscope, Lala Divoon being seen at 21 with handsome young Lance Aryan, and finally you could keep track of Dick Tracy and find out of Lil Abner got Mammy Yokum out of Dogpatch. So the significance of The Day in the daily life of ordinary people is hard to figure in an age when television itself is being replaced by the internet as a prime source of information.

"It takes talent to get the news, write it up, and back it up with research," editor Bogart tells the suits that control the money. "Back it up with research." Those were the days. Now any idiot can get on social media and print a rant about the hollow earth hypothesis and he can depend on certain of those among us to gobble it up. But the business that Bogart describes has its weaknesses too. The news may offend powerful gang figures like Rienzi (Martin Gabel) who owns judges and other high-echelon bureaucrats and can cause a lot of trouble, say, by murdering some of the paper's informants. ("I tole you I din't want no violence -- not yet anyways!")

Gabel's slapping Bogart across the face with a copy of The Day is small potatoes. Gabel has an egregious tendency to throw his corpses into the Hudson River clothed in nothing but a mink coat, or seeing to it that they tumble down into some kind of garbage disposal unit or horizontal milling machine in the press room.

All of this michigas irritates Bogart because at the same time he's coping with the mafia he's trying to save The Day from being acquired and disposed of by the competition. Also pressing on him is the fact that his wife, the infinitely appealing Kim Hunter, has divorced him and is about to marry her boss, an unworthy snooty dude wearing a permanent smirk of triumph.

The drama is alloyed with some comedic moments -- exchanges between Bogart and his elderly secretary, Miss Barndollar, who is compliant to a fault and entirely literal. And there are occasional wisecracks. Some goons posing as cops kill an informant. When the police show up, a detective snarls at one of the paper's editors, "Can't you tell a hoodlum from a real cop?" "In THIS town? (pause) Yes, sir."

Despite the most strenuous efforts of Bogart and his ally Ethel Barrymore, The Day comes to an end, but it's spirit lives on, inspired by a brave old immigrant lady who provides the evidence that sinks Rienzi. The brave old immigrant lady, here known by the cognomen of Mrs. Schmidt, is played by Kasia Orzazewski, born in Poland, who was Richard Conte's floor-scrubbing mother in "Call Northside 777." It's the kind of role any normal human being would want. You need an old immigrant lady? You call Kasia Orzazewski's agent. She didn't make that many movies -- a half dozen or so -- but for a couple of years she was the go-to brave old immigrant lady. She gets to provide the final encomium to the free press.

This cast, by the way, includes myriad supporting actors of note at the time, too many to list here. They play it in the classic style, delivering the goods like UPS drivers. The direction by Richard Brooks is the same, flawless, without inspiration, and politically correct in a reassuring way that makes one yearn for the years of confidence, faith, fortitude, and Mammy Yokum.
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Better than average newspaper drama
smatysia13 September 2015
Better than average newspaper drama from the Fifties. Seems to be a more or less forgotten Humphrey Bogart film, which is too bad. I couldn't find it on DVD anywhere, and watched it on a tape I made from cable ten or more years ago. The film has three intertwining plot arcs done very skillfully by screenwriter (and director) Richard Brooks. Martin Gabel plays the bad guy, a mobster who is suitably menacing, without overdoing it. Icon Ethel Barrymore puts in a fine turn as the newspaper heiress, and the lovely Kim Hunter shines as Bogey's ex-wife. Bogart is outstanding as the crusading newspaper editor, doing everything possible to save his paper, and bringing low the criminal element. Definitely worth seeing, if you can find it.
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" Yes . . . and Capone was in the Insurance business"
thinker16911 August 2008
The idea of being a real live reporter or for that matter, a newspaper editor never crossed the mind of Humphrey Bogart who plays Ed Hutcheson. Yet when you watch this film, he is so superb, you'd think he's done it all his life. This is the story of ' The Day ' perhaps the finest newspaper on the East coast. It's 1,500 people who daily work for it, produce top notch news stories and none more poignant than it current interest, the life of suspected criminal, Thomas Renzi. A man so powerful, he believes himself untouchable. Although a congressional investigation and a state probe could not prove anything in the way of illegal criminal dealings, few are courageous enough to challenge him. That is until, Renzi's mobsters ambush and nearly kill one George Burrows, (Warren Stevens) an investigative reporter for The Day. That's when Hutcheson and his staff, which includes, editorial Assistant Frank Allen (Ed Begley) decides to scrutinize and put Renzi's life on the front page. The gangster and the editor both have power, but which will win out makes for a tense dramatic movie. Set in the 1950's, this black and white film will inspire many a journalist to set their sights to be as great as the day. ****
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Very Disappointing Considering The Cast
ccthemovieman-15 May 2006
A big disappointment, this "save the newspaper story with one big expose against a corrupt politician" was boring - the ultimate sin in a film. Also, I found none of the characters likable: no one to root for, despite the presence of some famous actors I like. The cast includes Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore, Kim Hunter, Ed Begley, Warren Stevens and Jim Backus.

Most of them simply talk too much and do too little. It also has a blasphemous scene early on when they hold a "wake" for the paper and smugly use Christian terms (i.e. "saved") irreverently, just to get some cheap laughs. I'm surprised they got away with this since the Hays Code was still very much in effect in 1952.
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Hard-boiled thrills; worth a look
Libretio24 January 2000

Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Sound format: Mono

(Black and white)

Humphrey Bogart plays a hard-boiled newspaper editor in Richard Brooks' drama in much the same way he used to play hard-boiled detectives and gangsters in the 1930s and 40s. This tough-talking drama from 20th Century Fox emulates the gritty Warner Bros. 'style' of its day, though it's hard not to be cynical about the script's high-falutin' insistence on the nobility of the press (!). Ethel Barrymore plays a matriarchal publisher with the kind of effortless dignity that distinguished her entire career, and most of the supporting cast are solid. Elsewhere, Bogart's marital woes are unconvincing and don't add very much to the narrative, despite the obvious (and genuine) attempt to provide the characters with some kind of emotional depth.
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Good film...
gazzo-218 December 1999
This is a fast-moving, well-acted film, a flag-waver for newspapers at heart, which gets a bit much at the end-but overall quite good. Tough-hided characters all over, from Ethel Barrymore's martriarchal owner of the paper own down through Kim Hunter, Bogie the editor in chief/crusador, Paul Stewart in a nice turn as the sports guy and Ed Begley Sr as Bogie's right hand man. This has a little film noir look to it, the seen in the bar is just teeming with long wool jackets and '50's fedorahs, straight outta a Superman comic from the time.

Gazzo-2 recommends this film and gives it a:

*** outta **** rating.
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Mandatory watching for all journalists
sdecker3213 March 2001
In Pete Hamill's ``News is a Verb,'' he recommends that all journalists watch this at least once a year. After you've seen it, you'll agree. Great story, great acting and, more importantly, forces you to remember why you became a journalist in the first place - to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
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"A journalist makes himself the hero of the story. A reporter is only the witness."
utgard144 July 2017
"It's not our job to prove he's guilty. We're not detectives and we're not in the crusading business." That line from Humphrey Bogart early in the film lets you know you're watching a movie about a bygone era in journalism. Or maybe that's just an idealized fantasy and reporters were never like that, because later in the film Bogart contradicts himself by instructing his reporters to "go below the belt" and "we're gonna convict him of every crime on the books." Feelings on journalistic philosophy aside, this is an exceptional crime drama about the goings-on at a newspaper that's going out of business. Before the doors are closed, editor Bogart and his reporters try to uncover the truth about a racketeer's criminal activities.

Bogart turns in one of his finest acting turns, with terrific support from Ethel Barrymore, Martin Gabel, Ed Begley, Kim Hunter, Warren Stevens, Jim Backus, and many more. The story moves along at a smooth pace and keeps your interest throughout. There's quite a bit of monologuing but the script is packed with punch and grit. It's one of the better films in writer & director Richard Brook's career. It's worth a look on its merits as a dramatic film, as well as the added historic value it has for those looking to examine the differences and similarities between how journalism was viewed yesterday versus today.
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Deadline USA
blue_agate1126 February 2011
I'm a big Bogart fan. When I first saw this movie it was so different from his many other movie roles either a gangster type or a PI/Cop that it was something new for me. I loved this movie. You really wind up rooting for him and the paper to make it. It is so disappointing to note that this movie is not available on VHS or DVD. Hint hint to anyone out there that decides on what to release to the viewing public this movie would sell well! I know I would buy it for my collection. This movie ranks right up there with the likes of All The Presidents Men, The Front Page, Citizen Kane and even Friendly Fire (another good movie to catch if you want to see a young Sam Waterson playing the investigative reporter) and the Onion Field.
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what's killing the newspapers ?
ksf-222 May 2018
The film opens with a businessman being questioned in a courtoom, similar to the House Un-American Committee This newspaper may be sold, right in the middle of the biggest news story of the year. Stars Bogart as the editor, and Ethel Barrymore as Mrs. Garrison, the owner. and Jim Backus (Mr. Howell, from Gilligan's Island) is in here. Bogart tries to convince Mrs. Garrison to keep the paper going, but its an uphill battle. Not a lot of votes on imdb for this one, so TCM must not show it very often. Touching scene, where the reporters all hold a memorial for the paper in the bar.... even more prescient today, when there are very few papers left, and those few are an endangered species. Some similarites to Citizen Kane, where the respectable paper can't compete with the yellow, sensational papers for circulation. Written and directed by Richard Brooks, who was married to Jean Simmons. Pretty good stuff. I had never seen this one before. It really strikes a nerve today, with the interwebs really killing off newspapers.
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A Perfect Storm
seymourblack-14 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A hardworking newspaper editor faces pressure from all quarters when a number of simultaneous developments look set to have a devastating impact on his life and the lives of the 1500 people who work with him. For some time, "The Day" had been striving to expose the crimes of New York's leading racketeer but on the same day that the state Senate Committee is forced to drop all charges brought against him, the newspaper is suddenly threatened with closure and the editor's ex-wife (who he's desperate to reconcile with), announces that she's planning to remarry as soon as possible. This perfect storm generates numerous plot strands and the ways in which they're so expertly weaved together, is one of this movie's best qualities.

Editor of "The Day", Ed Hutcheson (Humphrey Bogart) is frustrated when he hears that notorious mob boss Tomas Rienzi (Martin Gabel) has escaped justice yet again and then attends a meeting during which it becomes clear that a dispute between the late owner's widow, Margaret Garrison (Ethel Barrymore) and her two daughters is likely to culminate in the imminent closure of the publication. After imparting this information to his fellow employees and attending a wake for the paper, he goes to see his ex-wife, Nora (Kim Hunter) who had divorced him because his commitment to his job had been so great that it had completely ruined their relationship. Nora still cares for Ed and allows him to stay at her apartment overnight but recognising that they have no future together, has recently agreed to marry her boss.

Next morning, Ed is informed that the reporter he'd assigned to work on the Rienzi investigation, had been found badly beaten-up by the racketeer's thugs and this fires him up to devote all the resources he possibly can to discovering some evidence that can finally bring the full extent of Rienzi's crimes out into the open.

Ed is an idealist who strongly adheres to the ethos of his newspaper by believing in the value of a free press, being totally committed to printing the truth and consistently avoiding sensationalism. This sets him apart from Ethel's two daughters who are only interested in getting richer by selling "The Day" to the publishers of its main rival who simply want to close it down to boost the circulation of their own paper.

The Rienzi investigation takes an interesting turn when it emerges that a young woman whose drowned body had recently been recovered from a local river was, in fact, the gangster's mistress who had spent some of the money that he'd given her for safe-keeping and that her brother, Herman (Joe De Santis), had also been involved in facilitating her murder. When Herman agrees to tell his story for a large pay-off, it seems that a breakthrough has been reached but this proves to be a false dawn and it's only when an unexpected person steps forward with some compelling documentary evidence, that Ed feels able to go to print with the kind of story that will ensure that "The Day" goes out with a bang.

The fact that this movie delivers its rather involved story in such a punchy way without ever compromising on character development is very impressive and testifies strongly to the quality of Richard Brooks' writing and direction. Powerful performances by its talented cast make all the characters seem very credible and the atmosphere of the busy newspaper office is brilliantly recreated on-screen. Humphrey Bogart's exceptional performance as the energetic, fearless and very determined editor also plays a huge part in driving the whole production forward and as well as being enjoyable to watch, is also worthy of far greater recognition than it's ever been given to date.
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Humphrey Bogart as an editor in a struggle of life and death to the bitter end against corruption to save his newspaper.
clanciai4 January 2018
This is possibly and probably the best film of journalism ever made, with Humphrey Bogart at the peak of his powers waging everything as an editor to save the life of his newspaper against impossible odds, seconded by his many times divorced wife Kim Hunter, Ethel Barrymore as a moral heavyweight, and editor-assistant Ed Begley among many others. This is actually a requiem for a newspaper based on a true story but written and directed by Richard Brooks in what is probably his best film. Everything in it is perfect and especially the dialogue, which keeps you breathless throughout the film - it never slows down but is always pertinent, witty and important - not a word is wasted in this torrent of argument. Although there are thriller elements, since the main theme is battling corruption with the quest for truth as the main instrument, it's at the same time hilariously entertaining, but especially enjoyable to those who relish an intelligent argument.
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