Movie Monday Vol. 2: Deadline – U.S.A.


The Blog’s Movie Monday was a smash success in its first week. Critics gave it two thumbs up and called it “Better than Cats,” so we decided we’d keep it around for a while! And we’re doing it thanks to the help of all of you.

This week, San Diego’s Chris Ross reviews a Bogie classic. Remember, all it takes for YOU to be our next guest reviewer is to send us an e-mail to let us know what you want to review.

So without further ado … ACTION!

“Deadline – U.S.A.”
As reviewed by Chris Ross, News Design Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Released: 1952. Length: 1:27.
Director: Richard Brooks. Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore, Kim Hunter, Ed Begley, Martin Gabel.

Find it here:
Sadly, this film is not available through Netflix or Amazon. However, it shows up on the late-night movie circuit now and then — so set your TiVo to snag it.

What Leonard Maltin says:
“Biting account of a newspaper’s struggle to survive and maintain civic duty. … Most enjoyable. Don’t blink or you’ll miss a young James Dean in a silent bit part during a newspaper production montage.” (From Leonard Maltin’s 2007 Movie Guide)

Plot synopsis:
Workaholic editor-in-chief Ed Hutcheson (Humphrey Bogart) is dealing with the the politics of a publisher’s family feud and the imminent sale of the newspaper. The owner’s widow, played by Ethel Barrymore, is being pressured by her greedy children to sell out. At the same time, Bogart is pushing the staff to break a big story that pins a murder on a crime boss.

Reality check: Writer/director Brooks was a former journalist, and he reportedly used the 1931 sale of the New York World by Joseph Pulitzer‘s sons as the basis for the plot.

Geek factor: The staffers gather at a bar to compare notes on rumors that the paper is being sold. Sound familiar?

Crucial scene: The movie’s climax, which has the staff racing against the clock to get the Big Story on the presses before the paper folds, is a must-see for every journalist.

Ross’ review: Bogart is great, as always, as the hard-drinking, chain-smoking editor Hutcheson whose marriage is on the rocks and whose career is on the line. The romance here is a tad sketchy. Hutcheson and his wife Nora (Kim Hunter) have split, but they obviously still love each other. He’s having trouble letting go; she’s trying to move on. But the real story is about how the newsroom staffers keep fighting the good fight while their jobs hang in the balance. And the dialogue between Bogart and crusty widow Barrymore is wonderful. This movie will make you nostalgic for the good old days when the daily newspaper was the only credible source for news, and the competition was dog-eat-dog.

Movie Monday Archives!
5.14.07: “Spider-Man 3” (MattE)
5.21.07: “Deadline — U.S.A.” (Chris Ross)

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