Ed Hutcheson, tough editor of the New York \'Day\', finds that the late owner\'s heirs are selling the crusading paper to a strictly commercial rival. At first he sees impending unemployment as an opportunity to win back his estranged wife Nora. But when a reporter, pursuing a lead on racketeer Rienzi, is badly beaten, Hutcheson is stung into a full fledged crusade against the gangster, hoping Rienzi can be tied to a woman\'s murder...in the 3 issues before the end of \'The Day.\'
Humphrey Bogart ... Ed Hutcheson
Ethel Barrymore ... Margaret Garrison
Kim Hunter ... Nora Hutcheson
Ed Begley ... Frank Allen
Warren Stevens ... George Burrows
Paul Stewart ... Harry Thompson
Martin Gabel ... Thomas Rienzi
Joe De Santis ... Herman Schmidt
Joyce Mackenzie ... Katherine Garrison Geary
Audrey Christie ... Mrs. Willebrandt
Fay Baker ... Alice Garrison Courtney
Jim Backus ... Jim Cleary
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!!
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.
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.