Sunday, September 11, 2016

DEADLINE U.S.A.: Blu-ray (2oth Century-Fox 1952) Kino Lorber

I’ll watch anything with Humphrey Bogart…well, alright – not 1953’s Beat the Devil, despite having the even more impressive pedigree of John Huston to direct it; proof positive, even the ole masters had their flops – artistic and otherwise. Richard Brooks’ Deadline U.S.A. (1952) is not so far gone: not a bad movie, just an uneven and rarely seen one with Brooks far more interested in telling a story about newspaper editor, Ed Hutcheson (Bogart), a man who has allowed his impassioned crusade to protect First Amendment rights to utterly clutter and dismantle any real chances outside of work for happiness with a good woman (Kim Hunter in the woefully thankless part as Ed’s estranged wife, Nora). Deadline U.S.A. is a tale of familial avarice destroying the dynastic legacy of a ‘great’ newspaper – the fiction ‘Day’ in the movie. All this is wrapped in the enigma of a predictable ‘crime story’; a sideline for Brooks, with Hutcheson going after corrupt Mafioso, Tomas Rienzi (Martin Gabel), who thus far has been able to avoid incarceration, even while under the scrutiny of a congressional committee’s televised investigation looking into his illegal activities. The story, conceived and written by Brooks, had its roots in the demise of The New York World; a legendary ‘yellow journalism’ publication, transformed from meager rag into an iconic piece of Americana by Joseph Pulitzer, before being unceremoniously sold off, and thus dismantled, by his heirs after his death.  No one can stab you in the back like family. But I digress.
Brooks spins a lot of Pulitzer’s relentless/fearless/zealous determination, railing against corruption and government abuse of power into the character of Ed Hutcheson. Hutcheson may lack something of Pulitzer’s ‘visionary’ quality, but he presides over a superb brood of finely honed, hardboiled writers eager and willing to stick their necks out for a good scoop; stalwart senior editor, Frank Allen (Ed Bagley), cool customer, Harry Thompson (Paul Stewart), shoot-from-the-hip ‘His Girl Friday’ – Willebrandt (Audrey Christie) trolling the morgue to put a name to the face of a body dredged up from the Hudson in a fur coat no less; pragmatic, Jim Cleary (Jim Backus) and, hungry for-a-byline-he-can-call-his-own reporter, George Burrows (Warren Stevens); real news hounds on the cusp of extinction by circumstances beyond their control. It seems the heirs to The Daily; spoilt trust fund babies, Katherine Garrison Geary (Joyce Mackenzie) and Alice Garrison Courtney (Fay Baker) have convinced their widowed mother, Margaret (Ethel Barrymore) to sell off her controlling interests  for some quick cash. Turning her husband’s life’s work into a garage sale is not exactly what Margaret had in mind. But she is old and tired of fighting the good fight…or so it would seem. However, Margaret has distinct appreciation for Hutcheson’s business acumen, so very much like her late husband’s, and so unlikely to survive the industry’s uncertain future, already transitioning from independently-minded news media mandarins, insatiably driven in their search for the truth, whatever the cost, into becoming the mainstream, politicized hackneys for special interest groups they have steadily eroded into today. This is Brooks’ real message in Deadline U.S.A. and arguably his only purpose for making the picture. Ostensibly, it remains the best reason for seeing it today.
There is a lot of icing on this already well-frosted cake, however, and at times, it is the diversions away from Brooks’ passionate diatribe that almost weigh the picture down in a sort of melodramatic mire, threatening to blunt or completely obfuscate his point. To satisfy the studio and audiences, Deadline U.S.A.’s latter acts get bogged in a rather clunky ‘whodunit’ as Willebrandt gradually pieces together the identity of the aforementioned ‘suicide’; Sally Gardner – a.k.a. Bessie Schmidt (Ann McCrea) – a good-time had by all; Rienzi’s plaything until he had enough and was ready for his goon squad to sink her into silence. The recovery of Schmidt’s corpse, with a positive I.D. from her mother (Kasia Orzazewski) leaves a breadcrumb trail straight to Sally’s brother, Herman (Jo De Santis); a weak-kneed gambler, beholding in debts to Rienzi. Herman sold his sister out and now he has to pay. All Hutcheson cares about is Rienzi – a blight on the city, with judges and politicians in his back pocket and racketeers, goons and various other sundry cutthroats ensconced in virtually every strata of a vast and insidious crime syndicate that has a stranglehold on truth, justice and the American way.
Hutcheson will not stand for Rienzi’s kind. With the pending demise of The Daily already a bygone fact and conclusion, the heirs to the paper have effectively made Ed Hutcheson the most dangerous sort to a thug like Rienzi: a guy with absolutely nothing left to lose. As such, Hutcheson takes the proverbial gloves off to come out swinging; hitting hard with scathingly satirical bylines and below-the-belt editorial cartoons that undermine Rienzi’s credibility. If the congressional inquest is incapable of stopping this kingpin in his tracks, then Hutcheson is determined to systematically chisel away at his seemingly Teflon-coated reputation until the genuine ugliness of Rienzi’s corrupt organization is exposed like festering puss from underneath a scab. This is exactly the sort of brass-knuckle tactic Pulitzer himself would have employed in his heyday, and, championed to the rafters for its audaciousness and hutzpah. Alas, hard-won battles are not made in the press room. So, Hutcheson assigns a hungry young reporter, Burrows to shadow Rienzi; a decision he will regret when some of Rienzi’s boys turn Burrows into a punching bag, leaving him for dead at a remote factory. Burrows survives, but he will probably lose an eye for his efforts; Mrs. Burrows (Irene Vernon) admonishing Hutcheson’s relentless pursuit of Rienzi as irresponsible and pointless. 
Deadline U.S.A. plays up to Bogart’s strengths as a tough guy, slightly watered down – or perhaps, merely possessing a soft spot (either in his heart or head) for his crumbling marriage. The picture could have easily done without this byline about professional commitments wreaking havoc on one’s personal life; a remorseful and slightly inebriated Hutcheson turning up on Nora’s apartment doorstep after learning The Daily is being sold off; a brief (and utterly pointless) restaurant ‘cute meet’ between the estranged couple that ends badly when Nora explains to Ed she plans to marry again, to milquetoast insurance investigator, Lewis Schaefer (Philip Terry), and, a thoroughly predictable ‘eleventh hour’ reconciliation, after Herman’s dramatic murder (tossed by Rienzi’s goon squad into the printing press before he can sign his confession statement, thus giving Hutcheson his headline). Brooks so obviously wants to concentrate on the sad, steady decline of journalistic integrity afflicting the once-galvanized ‘free press’ in America. This is where his heart and head are, and where the real kernel of genuine entertainment value is to be discovered in this movie. Bogart plays Ed Hutcheson with his usual glibness; a trademark. It bodes well for the edgy newspaper man he plays herein; uncompromising, genuine, but with a soft center of compassion, periodically revealing itself – as in the scene where Hutcheson instructs his right hand, Frank Allen to draw a $500 draft (a sizable sum in 1952) from his private bank account, making it payable to Burrows to help in his medical expenses.   
Still, Deadline U.S.A. is an odd duck, or rather, something of a mutt of a movie. The supporting cast is rounded out by some of the most competent and easily identifiable bit players in the biz. Alas, virtually all are given precious little to do in this screenplay; a genuine pity. I would have preferred to see more of Ed Bagley’s ever-devoted Frank or Audrey Christie’s probing wit, Willebrandt; holding her own in this ‘boys’ club.’ But at just 87 minutes there really is no time to explore these characters. Nevertheless, they add flavorful fermentation to an already stylish gumbo of a plot. In part due to cinematographer, Milton R. Krasner’s impeccable B&W cinematography, Deadline U.S.A. channels the vibes of a forties’ film noir; slightly blunted by an homogenized ‘look’ all pictures made at 2oth Century-Fox’s in the early fifties seem to possess; A-list, high key lighting, yet somehow very television orientated and artificial to a fault. For all its fleeting glimpses of location, mostly shot second unit and featured as process plates projected behind the foreground action, Deadline U.S.A is a very studio-bound production.  The city room and editorial offices of the fictional ‘Daily’ bear up exceptionally, thanks to George Patrick and Lyle R. Wheeler’s production design, and, Thomas Little and Walter M. Scott set decoration; with Brooks rumored to have applied the finishing touches himself. Indeed, Brooks, who had begun in a career in newspapers, knew the milieu well and has helped to convincingly recreate it herein. 
If only Richard Brooks’ screenplay were not quite so desperate to inveigle Bogart in the trappings of a gangster-land/crime thriller, Bogie’s forte during his tenure at Warner Bros., Deadline U.S.A. might have had some more groundbreaking observations to make about the demise of independently-minded free speech and journalism in America. Instead, the narrative begins to stretch and arguably distort in different directions, perhaps nowhere more pointlessly than in the ‘lover’s triangle’ between Hutcheson, Nora and her never-to-be fiancé, Louis Schaefer; poor Phil Terry given short shrift, repeated thwarted by interruptions in Hutcheson’s office as the case against Rienzi begins to break wide open. Deadline U.S.A. may not be a perfect entertainment. In point of fact, it is not. It also lacks Brooks’ usual zeal for testing the boundaries of screen censorship. Nevertheless, it attests to Brooks’ expertise as a screenwriter, with juicy tidbits of quality writing scattered throughout. He has enough material here for six good movies. Condensing it all into one programmer proves a difficulty but not to the point where Deadline U.S.A. cannot be enjoyed as a popcorn muncher on a rainy Saturday afternoon matinee. And, if nothing else, it has Humphrey Bogart – the actor’s actor with personality plus. Bogart is as Bogart does. Like all of Bogie’s work, he gives another unaffected piece of acting herein. And no one can play a man who has lost his way, yet still refuses to give in, better than Bogart.  
Herein, I would sincerely like to pause a moment to mark a rebuttal to Playback’s Sarah E. Boslaugh’s liberalized and thoroughly bias critique of Deadline U.S.A. as stricken with a “blatant sexist, anti-foreign, ‘childish world-view’” lacking the progressive input of the LGBT community to truly be effective. Opinions will vary of course, and Ms. Boslaugh, the ‘St. Louie’ U Ph.D is entitled to hers. But she really is not offering the reader an intelligible analysis of the movie ‘that is’; rather, the one she would sincerely wish it to be. That’s unfair. It’s also not altogether accurate, nor, I would argue, adhering to the precepts of professional reviewing or even good ‘journalism’, despite her pedigree of published works. All Ms. Boslaugh has proven is she can write and get what she writes published. But her assessment of Deadline U.S.A. neither attests to a level of quality or accuracy in her methodologies, suggesting this movie would only appeal to the “straight white man” – code for all guys of a certain vintage, re-conceived by the liberal left today as knuckle-dragging/bed sheet-wearing Nazi-Neanderthals in desperate need of a good head shake, brainwash, or merely to be euphemized for harboring any contrary perspective the left finds unappealing, not because it is ‘wrong’ or ‘racist’ or even marginally ‘opinionated’ but rather, merely because any thought that does not receive the liberal left’s ‘gold star’ seal of approval is reinterpreted as a threat to be ruthlessly squashed post haste.
Ms. Boslaugh’s critique of Deadline U.S.A. begins with a truly cringe-worthy anti-conservative perspective on the validity of a free press, as deriving from a “once upon a time” fantasy land where “newspapers actually mattered in people’s lives” and were “a viable career that didn’t require a series of unpaid internships subsidized by well-heeled parents.” Is she wrong? Let us merely suggest she is only partly right. If journalism today – in any of its many forms – is sincerely devalued by the public at large, it is only because those endeavoring within its field of study and analysis now have traded in the time-honored evenhanded integrity of those bygone days for a ball-bashing/ indoctrinating partiality that belies the very definition of being ‘liberal’; the close-minded venom of these self-appointed cultural mandarins souring a good portion of the general public on anything they might have to say with intolerance towards all who disagree with their pig-headed perspectives. I would sincerely suggest to Ms. Boslaugh that Richard Brooks – always a caustic crusader for advancing the cause of a more free-spirited anti-censorship – sincerely outclasses her in virtually all regards. She needs to see all 26 of his directorial masterworks at least twice to be considered even a lowbrow ‘expert’ on his career.    
Clearly, Ms. Boslaugh has allowed her time spent safely tucked away behind these ivy-covered walls of academia, serene in her cocoon, researching gender and sexuality issues, to cloud her unreserved judgment on movies neither aspiring to suggest or investigate these topics in much the same way feminist writer, Molly Haskell’s pithy critiques of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Lawrence of Arabia have been prejudiced by her inability to appreciate any movie that lacks a female presence. Personally, I would have a time again when Hollywood had the guts to make movies based solely on their entertainment value, without first looking for ways to insert at least one cast member who is gay, a minority, a woman, and/or transgender, into their storytelling – but particularly when the plot of the movie does not warrant such an inclusion.  Yet, even to suggest such a narrative these days, exclusively focused on the white European male perspective, is considered marginally wrong to completely racist/homophobic and sexist – a rather sad indictment on how far left of center our pop culture has unraveled. But it is, after all, in keeping with the liberal agenda - all for one or none for all – and it has virtually sucked the life out of our popular entertainments, transforming most into something they were never intended to be, and applying a very skewed and grotesquely judgmental perspective on art produced under previous generations who neither subscribed to this current strain of very strained ‘political correctness’, nor felt they had anything to apologize for because of this misperceived absence. But I digress.   
Immediately following a preamble of the potboiler ‘whodunit’ – Rienzi, in the congressional hot seat for alleged kickbacks and other criminal activities, Deadline U.S.A. opens on a newspaper in crisis; The Day, about to be sold out from under editor-in-chief, Ed Hutcheson, who has lived, breathed and devoured the acumen of honest journalism practically since birth. Ed’s devotion to the paper is admirable to say the least. But it has also drained the spark of romance from his private life. Estranged from his wife, Nora, Ed’s entire reason for existing is shattered when he is called up to the private suite of offices atop the executive building, informed by attorneys for the Garrison family The Day is to be sold to a rival newspaper magnet, Lawrence White (Raymond Greenleaf). It is a unanimous decision, though Ed clearly senses Margaret, the widow of The Day’s founder, John Garrison is being bullied into the sale by her greedy daughters, Alice and Katherine and their even more money-hungry spouses, who have neither a stake nor a claim on the family fortune, except via marriage. Asked by his right hand, Frank Allen as to why The Day would be sold off, Ed brutally acknowledges, “For money, that’s the usual reason. Right now the heirs are waiting with facts, figures and falsehoods to support their reasons. Any more ‘F’s’ and they won’t be drafted!” Ed will not take any of this lightly or sitting down. When Katherine, suffering from pregnancy nausea, glibly suggests she does not feel well, Ed echoes the sentiment as communal among his staff after hearing the news of the sale. When Katherine nonchalantly insists, “what difference does it make?” Ed plainly informs her, a good deal to The Day’s 1500 employees about to be unceremoniously cast into the street for time served with barely two weeks’ notice and a pittance of a severance pay as their only thanks.
Hutcheson is not swayed by the prospect of getting $50,000 as his personal parting gift – a very nice chunk of change by 1950’s standards. But Ed’s a news man first and foremost and sincerely adverse to the sort of arrogant, thoughtless and thoroughly trivialized ‘entertainment’ strain of writing that has steadily crept into the precepts of unvarnished journalism, referring to his competitor’s offering as a rag. “It’s not enough anymore to give ‘em the news,” Hutcheson suggests at the wake the staff hold at a local watering hole after being told of the impending sell-off, “They want comics, contests, puzzles. They wanna know how to bake a cake, win friends and influence the future; ergo, horoscopes, tips on the horses, interpretation on a dream so they can win on a numbers lottery…and, if they accidentally stumble upon the first page – news!”  Aside: does any of this vaguely sound familiar? Without question, it sounds like Richard Brooks - prolific. After the wake, Brooks gives Bogart’s slightly inebriated Hutcheson another eloquent soliloquy to recite as only Bogart can; with nostalgic cynicism for a way of life dying before his very eyes, telling Bellamy (William Self) an eager incumbent, “Newspaper man is the best profession in the world. Know what a profession is?” Told by the young man, a profession is a ‘skilled job’, Bogie lets out a curmudgeonly little laugh before explaining to the novice, “Yeah, so is repairing watches. No, a profession is a performance for the public good. That’s why newspaper work is a profession.” From here, Hutcheson lowers the boom – again, as only Bogart in his prime could, with a sort of world-weary tenderness, thinly veiled in some very genuine ‘tough love’. Informed by Bellamy of a desire to become a foreign correspondent in Egypt, Hutcheson critically dissects the young man’s qualifications – or lack thereof. For example: does he speak Arabic, know the customs, habits and superstitions of the people, the psychology of Egyptian politics and Muslim diplomacy? Is he an expert on their economy and/or topography of the nation etc. et al. Sheepishly, all this ‘bright young mind’ can do is answer ‘No sir’ to any and all inquiries, adding he knows a little French, to which Hutcheson astutely points out, “So do I. But I couldn’t hold down a job in my own Paris office.”
In these opening moments, Richard Brooks provides his audience with a meticulously detailed, sad, unvarnished truth about the newspaper biz; its’ dog-eat-dog relentless pursuit of the facts, simultaneously building his praise-worthy epitaph and monument to this dying breed of go-getting, fact-based, hard-hitting boys of the poisoned pen whose days are numbered. I oft’ wonder what Brooks (who left us in 1992) would make of the pop-u-tainment subculture having infected the news industry today; a ghost flower of its former self, kowtowing to the lowest common denominator in a society increasingly illiterate about any ‘real hard news’ beyond a headline. Determined The Day should go out on a high note, Hutcheson throws everything he has at exposing Tomas Rienzi’s corruption, assigning Burrows to shadow him with a camera. Alas, Burrows is not so clever or careful, winding up severely beaten and left for dead at an out of the way factory. Riding shotgun in the ambulance, Hutcheson mercilessly questions Burrows for details; Burrows fading in and out of consciousness before completely passing out, leaving Hutcheson holding the bag. Burrows’ wife is disgusted by Ed’s voracity for the scoop. But later, Hutcheson shows his truer colors, instructing his secretary to draw a sizable payment from his private account to cover all of Burrows’ medical expenses, his salary and then some until he makes a full recovery.
Winding up mildly intoxicated at Nora’s apartment, Ed attempts to fling woo with his ex-wife, as yet unable to fathom that ship has already sailed and he is no longer on it. Nora is empathetic to a fault. Indeed, she would have liked the marriage to turn out, and even more miraculously, does not hold Ed exclusively responsible for its failure now. She lets Ed crash on her couch for the night, but the next evening over dinner confides to him she is on the cusp of a second marriage to accountant, Louis Schaefer. This news hits Ed like a ton of bricks. But he has not the time to get personally invested because his first love – the paper – is in the middle of its death throws on a scoop first unearthed by Willebrandt, who trolled the morgue for any news on a nude – Sally Gardner – possibly, the married Rienzi’s gal on the side, now lying half-submerged and face down in the Hudson River. Ed would like nothing better than to run Willebrandt’s story. Only Rienzi might get his high-priced mouthpiece to shoot a lot of holes in its copy and even hit the paper with a libel suit. Hence, Ed tells Frank to hold the Rienzi story, but not to kill it. Next, Ed confronts The Day’s self-appointed censor, Fenway (Thomas Browne Henry), suspecting that even among his trusted advisors there may be a rat pitching for the other team.
But Ed has had quite enough of playing it safe. Besides, it is the eleventh hour for The Day’s survival. So, he moves full steam ahead; an  ‘all out’ editorial assault on Rienzi’s reputation; scathing and satirical cartoons, a lot of smoke blowing an even more desperately conceived ill wind, certain to stir a respectable breeze. The emblazoned headline, calling Rienzi out as a two-bit Mafioso, certainly gets Hutcheson the attention he has been waiting for; using all the might of The Day to bring down an unprecedented storm of public notoriety on Rienzi’s graft and political clout; Rienzi’s anonymous backers running for cover.  Alas, the story is nothing without corroborating evidence. For this, Ed puts his best man, Harry Thompson (Paul Stuart) on the trail of Gardner’s estranged brother, Herman, who has seemingly vanished into thin air. Harry is a relentless bloodhound, and eventually tracks down Herman, hold up inside a seedy eastside walkup. Herman’s scared, and for good reason. He helped set up his sister for a presumed rendezvous with Rienzi. Only instead, Rienzi had a couple of his goons waiting to take Sally for a ride, straight for a short dip off a very steep pier.
Now, Herman worries what is to become of him. He knows where all the bodies are buried…literally! Harry persuades Herman into a written confession – and exclusive for which he will be handsomely paid and put under protective custody until the Feds can topple Rienzi’s empire on a murder charge. There is little time to waste. The acquisition of The Day suffers a minor snafu when Margaret offers to buy back the paper lock, stock and barrel.  The suspense momentarily derails as Nora’s fiancé Larry Schaefer arrives to inform Ed he will marry his ex in two weeks. Superficially, Ed feigns nonchalance. Inside, his heart is breaking. Meanwhile, the Surrogate Court Judge (Fay Roope) takes Mrs. Garrison’s counteroffer under consideration, much to Alice and Katherine’s dismay and the legal finagling of their respective attorneys. Now, Rienzi’s car pulls up to the front of The Day; Rienzi’s attorney, Larry Hansen (Lawrence Dobkin) encouraging Ed to get in for a ‘friendly talk’. Herein, Richard Brooks writes some of the best dialogue in the picture as Ed gets under Rienzi’s collar and absolutely refuses to back down, despite Rienzi’s repeated attempts to buy off Ed’s silence, making thinly veiled threats to take care of him the same way he does anyone who crosses him.
Ed is unmoved and, even more startlingly, exits the back of Rienzi’s car unscathed. In fact, he ratchets up his ‘page one’ exposé on Rienzi’s spurious dealings. Alas, when the court reconvenes, the judge can find no just cause to delay the sale of the paper any longer. Barring a few minor technicalities, The Day now belongs to Lawrence White, shut down permanently, effective immediately.  Ed makes the announcement to his fellow workers. But Ed is unwilling to let the last issue go out without Herman’s confession exposing Rienzi for the murder of Sally Gardner. Herman bears his soul to Ed, the confession typed out for him to sign. But before he can commit some ink to paper, Ed is carted off by three men masquerading as police officers. Too late, Ed realizes one of the ‘officers’ is Lefty Smith (Ashley Cowan); Rienzi’s thug muscle. The trio hurries Herman to a balcony overlooking the printing press, tossing Herman over the side to his death. Rienzi telephones Ed with an ultimatum. But it is no use. Ed is a guy with nothing to lose. He runs Herman’s confession as a ‘page one’ editorial, the very last The Day will ever produce, effectively exposing Rienzi as a cold-blooded killer.  Nora, who has not married Schaefer, returns to the fold, looking on with a devoted wife’s admiration.
Deadline U.S.A. may be an unevenly scripted parable for the demise of ‘honest’ and ‘unbiased’ journalistic integrity in America, but it is never a boring movie or one lacking for something more profound to reconsider. Writer/director Richard Brooks easily has enough backstory here for two or even three movies, or a truly powerful 4 hour epic on the life and times of a newspaper from the inside (aside: now that is a picture I would have killed to see). The cast is a gallery of memorable character players, the whole shebang fronted by Bogart’s frequently caustic, and always curious, Ed Hutcheson; a newspaper man through and through, with a stout heart and a keen eye for knowing when he has stepped too close to the proverbial manure pile. Hutcheson is precisely the type of newshound we all would like to believe is in charge of our ‘free press’; the sort who will not compromise his ethics to get to the heart of a good scoop, but who also refuses to allow special interests to control him or his paper. Ed serves the public good – period. Naïve, perhaps; but I prefer to remember newspapers as they used to be; the hard-hitting cultural mandarins of a pre-internet era, delivering the main staple diet as a life-giving artery; feeding the mind with quality prose and even more compelling ‘news of the day’.  What more can I say about this movie; oh right…it has Bogart; an actor perennially rediscovered by each new generation. No actor from our present generation, and all too few from any other, is more compelling to watch on the screen than Humphrey Bogart. He can command the screen with a scowl or a snarky retort, proving the old adage about the pen being far mightier than the sword. In the end, Deadline U.S.A. is a must see almost exclusively because of Bogie’s inimitable charm.
Even better: Kino Lorber’s Blu-ray is fairly impressive, offering up oodles of fine detail and a gorgeous B&W image, showing off cinematographer, Milton R. Krasner’s visual flair to its absolute best advantage. The image is nicely contrasted, mostly free of age-related artifacts and sports a modicum of indigenous film grain looking very authentic to its source. This is a great looking disc, the DTS mono audio, as immaculate with no drop outs, hiss or pop. My one regret herein is extras. We get an audio commentary from Eddie Muller that is fairly comprehensive. Muller’s forte is usually film noir, so to listen to him here is a rather odd choice, but one for which hindsight proves 20/20. Good stuff to be mined from listening to him. We also get a badly worn theatrical trailer. Bottom line: Deadline U.S.A. gets my vote for a good – and mostly solid – movie about the newspaper biz in transition. Like all American institutions once held dear, the news in print today is hardly worth its recycled paper. But a movie like Deadline U.S.A. gives us its full flavorful zenith, a sad reminder of how much has been lost – not only in the medium of journalism, but absent from our movie pop culture today. Bottom line: highly recommended.
FILM RATING (out of 5 – 5 being the best)

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