Cast & Crew
On the day that reputed gangster Tomas Rienzi testifies before a New York state Senate committee that he has no criminal ties, the staff of The Day , a newspaper that has been following the Rienzi case closely, learns that the paper is to be sold. The Day 's late founder, John Garrison, was close friends with the paper's managing editor, Ed Hutcheson, and Ed is disappointed that Garrison's widow Margaret has capitulated to her greedy daughters' demand to sell. Ed continues laying out that evening's edition, however, and refuses to print titillating photographs of an unidentified woman who was found drowned wearing only a mink coat. Ed does allow reporter George Burrows to continue investigating Rienzi, even though the committee dropped the charges against him due to lack of evidence. Ed then meets with Margaret, her daughters--Katherine Garrison Geary and Alice Garrison Courtney--and their lawyers, who inform him that rival newspaper publisher Lawrence White is buying The Day . Ed is infuriated, as he deplores White's lack of integrity, and tells Margaret that she should prevent the sale because White is buying The Day merely to kill it. The lawyers warn Ed that a hearing to approve the sale will be held the following day regardless of his opinion. In the newsroom, Ed tells the staff about the proceedings, and that night, everyone gathers at a "wake" for The Day . Ed bitterly muses that if he had employed the same yellow journalism tactics as White's Standard , which ran a front-page photograph of the dead woman, the paper would have had a larger circulation. Drunk, Ed then goes to his ex-wife Nora's apartment, where Nora, who loves Ed but divorced him because of his all-encompassing devotion to the newspaper, puts him to bed. The next morning, Ed learns that George has been brutally beaten by Rienzi's goons. Determined to prove Rienzi's complicity, Ed orders his staff to begin an in-depth investigation of Rienzi's life, then dictates a scathing editorial against Rienzi. Hoping to convince her to re-marry him, Ed meets with Nora, but is interrupted by reporter Mrs. Willdebrandt, who has discovered that the dead woman's name is Bessie Schmidt. Ed and his team soon discover that, using the alias Sally Gardiner, Bessie was Rienzi's mistress, and that Rienzi engineered the appointment of Bessie's brother Herman to the state boxing commission. Ed then receives word that Bessie had recently bought $40,000 in government bonds, while sportswriter Harry Thompson finds a fearful Herman in hiding. As Harry is promising Herman protection, Ed attends the court hearing at which Judge McKay agrees to uphold the sale of the paper. Although Margaret protests, stating that she has changed her mind, Alice and Kitty are majority shareholders, and so Margaret promises to pay more than White has offered. The judge orders the matter deferred, and when Ed leaves the courthouse, he is confronted by Rienzi. Ed refuses the gangster's attempt to bribe him, but as they drive up to the newspaper building, Rienzi sees Herman entering. Ed offers to help Herman leave the country if he testifies against Rienzi, and Herman admits that Rienzi gave $200,000, which he had received for fixing an election, to Bessie for safekeeping. Bessie used $40,000 to buy the bonds, then hid the rest in a safe-deposit box and, fearing for her life, secretly moved to a hotel. Herman confesses that, pressured by Rienzi, he led Rienzi's henchmen to Bessie, then left her apartment when the goons began beating her. The conference is interrupted by Margaret, who tells Ed that because Rienzi has filed a libel suit against the paper, Judge McKay will be handing down his final ruling later that evening. While Ed is out of the room, three of Rienzi's henchmen, disguised as policemen, "arrest" Herman before he can sign his statement. Herman attempts to escape but plunges to his death from a catwalk over the printing press. The Day 's first evening edition recounts Herman's death, and Rienzi chews out Whitey for resorting to public violence, then orders him to find Bessie's mother. Meanwhile, Ed bemoans losing the story, but Margaret comforts him, telling him that he put up a good fight, and should not blame Nora for refusing to be a "paper widow." Ed and Margaret then go to court, where Ed protests that The Day has always been a champion for truth and justice. Although Judge McKay agrees, he upholds the contract, and orders that White be given control of the paper the following day. Upon his return to the office, Ed is met by Mrs. Schmidt, who, trusting The Day 's integrity, has brought him Bessie's diary and the money she was holding for Rienzi. Mrs. Schmidt bravely offers to testify against the gangster, and although Rienzi calls Ed to threaten him with death if he runs the story, Ed orders the presses to roll. With Nora by his side, Ed reads the headline accusing Rienzi of Bessie's murder, then watches as The Day 's neon sign is dimmed forever.
Joseph De Santis
Thomas Browne Henry
Willis B. Bouchey
Harry Harvey Sr.
Webster La Grange
Julia Ward Howe
Harry M. Leonard
William B. Murphy
Walter M. Scott
Sol C. Siegel
E. Clayton Ward
Deadline - U.S.A.
A tough, cynical urban melodrama about the newspaper business, Deadline U.S.A. (1952), is much closer to film noir in mood than in plot and character details but its storyline has topical relevance today as more and more major newspapers struggle to survive in the age of big business takeovers and new technologies. The film is also an intriguing example of a young rising talent (director Richard Brooks) and a major Hollywood star (Humphrey Bogart) at crossroads in their careers.
Brooks had already distinguished himself as a novelist (The Brick Foxhole  it was adapted as the 1947 film Crossfire) and screenwriter of such films as Brute Force  and Key Largo  when he began a directorial career in 1950, starting with Crisis , a Cary Grant suspense thriller. Deadline U.S.A. was only Brooks' third feature but it reunited him with Humphrey Bogart whom he'd befriended during the making of Key Largo. The two men also socialized outside work and Brooks was looking forward to their new project together at 20th Century-Fox.
Based on Brooks' original screen story "The Night the World Folded," the film initially had that as a working title and, at one time, "The Newspaper Story," before the studio settled on Deadline U.S.A. Portions of the film were shot on location in New York City and included the offices of the New York Daily News and Washington Square Park. Some sources claim that Brooks based his story on the actual closing of the New York World newspaper in 1931 though this fact was never confirmed.
Originally the part of Ed Hutcheson was being considered for either Gregory Peck or Richard Widmark, both of whom were favored by Fox mogul Darryl F. Zanuck over Bogart, who was Brooks's choice. Bogart was still under contract to Warner Bros. at the time but free to work on loanouts of his choice, and after a long negotiation ended up with the role. As he had recently returned from a physically grueling shoot on John Huston's The African Queen (1951), Bogart was exhausted and not in the best of health. Brooks noticed almost immediately that his leading man was not the meticulous professional he had worked with earlier. Instead, "He was withdrawing," Brooks recalled. "I don't know if it was already his illness [cancer] or not, but that could have been part of it...There was an impatience that was totally unlike him."
Bogart was not only rude and arrogant to the crew, giving script supervisor Kay Thackeray a particularly difficult time, but he clashed with Brooks occasionally over the staging of certain scenes. For the sequence where Hutcheson meets with the publisher, her family and their lawyers to discuss the sale of The Day, Bogart had trouble delivering his dialogue in synch with the complex camera move and complained, "Why do I have to move? Why can't I just stand there and do it?"
Brooks explained why he wanted the scene played a certain way and Bogart tried it several more times before giving up, saying "I don't know, the thing doesn't seem to work." To this, his co-star Ethel Barrymore snapped and said, "Humphrey, will you for Christ's sake do it!" "Why should I?" he barked back. "Because, Humphrey," she said, "the Swiss have no navy!" According to authors A.M. Sperber and Eric Lax in their biography Bogart, "That broke Bogart up and relaxed him enough to get through the scene. When he returned to his dressing room, Brooks followed. "What in the hell was that all about?" the director inquired of his friend. "I've never heard of you doing anything like that. What's really wrong?" Bogart explained that some friends had been over the night before, "and we did a little drinking, a lot of talking, and they stayed until three or four in the morning. Instead of going to sleep, I started studying the script. I came in here today and I didn't know the speech. And I'm faking it until I learn the speech. I'm sorry." The sarcastic bravado from the set was gone. To Brooks, he looked worn and wilted."
Unfortunately, the reminder of the Deadline U.S.A. shoot wasn't any easier for Brooks and his crew and Bogart left the set in a foul mood after his final scenes were shot. His performance, however, in the finished film was solid and his tired, world-weary quality was perfectly apt for a grizzled veteran of the newspaper racket who resisted the changing times. The supporting cast was equally impressive with Kim Hunter, Ed Begley, Ethel Barrymore and Martin Gabel as the menacing racketeer Rienzi delivering strong characterizations. The film's semi-documentary nature worked in its favor, enhancing the realistic milieu and it was well received by most critics.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times admired the movie but had some reservations about the depiction of Bogart's character: "It may be the complications Mr. Brooks has contrived for him are a little too snarled for easy following and unqualified belief. After all, it is asking a good bit of an audience to keep straight in mind three separate lines of development of interrelated plots let alone allow the likelihood of the coincidence of all of them...But it has to be said for Mr. Bogart and for the writing and the direction of Mr. Brooks that, in spite of the melodramatic turmoil, they have brought forth a pretty straight m.e. What's more, Mr. Brooks (who, they tell us, is an old newspaper man himself) has laid out a quite authentic picture of a-down-to-earth newspaper shop....Really good newspaper pictures are few and far between. This one, while melodramatic, does all right by the trade."
As a Bogart picture, Deadline U.S.A. was generally overlooked in the wake of The African Queen's success, the film for which he won his first Best Actor Oscar®, and it didn't garner any Academy Award nominations either. It did, however, enjoy the rare distinction of having its first public showing aboard a Coast Guard ship at the request of the crew who voted Bogart their favorite movie actor. Deadline U.S.A. was later adapted as a radio play and featured on the Lux Radio Theatre starring Dan Dailey and Debra Paget.
Producer: Sol C. Siegel
Director: Richard Brooks
Screenplay: Richard Brooks
Cinematography: Milton Krasner
Art Direction: George Patrick, Lyle Wheeler
Music: Cyril Mockridge, Sol Kaplan (uncredited)
Film Editing: William B. Murphy
Cast: 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)
by Jeff Stafford
Bogart by A.M. Sperber and Eric Lax (William Morrow)
The Complete Films of Humphrey Bogart by Clifford McCarty (Citadel Press)
Deadline - U.S.A.
TCM Remembers - Kim Hunter
KIM HUNTER, 1922-2002
Kim Hunter, the versatile, distinguished actress who won the Supporting Actress Academy Award for her portrayal as the long-suffering Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and appeared as Dr. Zira in three Planet of the Apes movies, died in her Greenwich Village apartment from an apparent heart attack on September 11, 2002. She was 79.
Born Janet Cole in Detroit on November 12, 1922, where her mother was a concert pianist, she made her professional debut at 17 with a small theatre company in Miami. She gained notice immediately with her strong voice and alluring presence, and eventually studied at the Actors' Studio in New York.
She made a striking film debut in an eerie, low-budget RKO horror film, The Seventh Victim (1943), produced by Val Lewton. She played a similar ingenue role in another stylish cult flick, When Strangers Meet (1944) - a film directed by William Castle and notable for featuring Robert Mitchum in one of his first starring roles. Hunter's big break came two years later when Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger cast her in their splendid romantic fantasy, Stairway to Heaven (1946).
Despite her growing popularity as a screen actress, Hunter returned to the stage to make her Broadway debut as Stella in Tennessee Williams'A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). When Elia Kazan adapted the production for the silver screen, she continued her role as Stella opposite Marlon Brando, and won an Oscar as best supporting actress. A few more film roles followed, but sadly her screen career entered a lull in the late 1950s, after Hunter, a liberal Democrat, was listed as a communist sympathizer by Red Channels, a red-hunting booklet that influenced hiring by studios and the Television networks. Kim was blacklisted from both mediums despite never having been labeled a Communist, yet as a strong believer in civil rights she signed a lot of petitions and was a sponsor of a 1949 World Peace Conference in New York. She was widely praised in the industry for her testimony to the New York Supreme Court in 1962 against the publishers of Red Channels, and helped pave the way for clearance of many performers unjustly accused of Communist associations.
Hunter spent the next few years on the stage and didn't make a strong impression again in films until she was cast as Dr. Zira in the Planet of the Apes (1968), as a simian psychiatrist in the classic science fiction film. The success of that film encouraged her to continue playing the same character in two back-to-back sequels - Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) and Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971). Hunter spent the remainder of her career on the stage and television, but she a terrific cameo role in Clint Eastwood's Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil (1997), one of her last films. She is survived by her daughter Kathryn, from her first marriage to William Baldwin, and her son Sean, from her marriage to actor and producer Robert Emmett.
By Michael T. Toole
TCM REMEMBERS J. LEE THOMPSON, 1914 - 2002
Oscar-nominated director J. Lee Thompson died August 30th at the age of 88. Though he worked in several genres, Thompson was best-known for his action films. Thompson was born in Bristol England on August 1, 1914. After graduating from college he became a playwright and it was the appearance of one of his plays on London's famous West End that got him noticed by the British film studio, Elstree. His first filmed script was The Pride of Folly in 1937 and others appeared sporadically until his career was side-tracked during the war when Thompson served in the RAF as a B-29 tail gunner. (He also reportedly worked as a dialogue coach on Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn, 1939.) Thompson's directorial debut came in 1950 when he adapted his own play Double Error to the screen as Murder Without Crime. Throughout the decade he directed a variety of dramas and comedies until hitting it big in 1958 with Ice Cold in Alex (released in the US minus 50 minutes under the title Desert Attack). It was nominated for three BAFTAs and was enough of a commercial success that Thompson landed the film that made his career: The Guns of Navarone (1961). This enormous international hit snagged Thompson an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He immediately followed that with the original Cape Fear (1962) and his reputation was set. Though Thompson remained active almost three more decades he didn't reach that level again. He worked on Westerns (Mackenna's Gold, 1969), horror films (Eye of the Devil, 1967), literary adaptations (Huckleberry Finn, 1974) and others. During this time, Thompson directed two Planet of the Apes sequels but was kept most busy working with Charles Bronson, for whom he directed nine films. Thompson's last film was in 1989.
KATRIN CARTLIDGE, 1961 - 2002
The news of actress Katrin Cartlidge's death at the age of 41 has come as a shock. It's not just the age but the thought that even though Cartlidge was already a major actress--despite a slender filmography--she held out the promise of even greater work, a promise that so few artists of any type can make. "Fearless" is perhaps the word most often used to describe Cartlidge but emotions are never enough for an actor; much more is required. Director Mike Leigh said she had "the objective eye of an artist" while remarking on her "her deep-seated suspicion of all forms of woolly thinking and received ideas."
Cartlidge was born in London on May 15, 1961. Her first acting work was on the stage, in tiny independent theatres before she was selected by Peter Gill for the National Theatre. Cartlidge also worked as a dresser at the Royal Court where she later made one of her final stage appearances. She began appearing in the popular British TV series Brookside before making her first film in 1985, Sacred Hearts. A small role in the Robbie Coltrane-Rik Mayall vehicle Eat the Rich (1987) followed before Cartlidge had her first leading role in Mike Leigh's scathing Naked (1993).
Cartlidge never took a safe approach in her films. She told The Guardian that "I try to work with film-makers who I feel will produce something original, revealing and provoking. If something provokes a reaction, it's well worth doing." You can see this in her choice of projects. Before the Rain (1994) dramatized violence in Macedonia in the wake of the Yugoslavian break-up and made Cartlidge something of a star in the area. She appeared in Lars Von Trier's controversial look at redemption, Breaking the Waves (1996), Leigh's sharply detailed story of aging friends Career Girls (1997), as one of Jack the Ripper's victims in From Hell (2001), as a call girl trying to leave the business in Clair Dolan (1998) and in the Oscar-winning film about Bosnia-Herzegovina, No Man's Land (2001). Her last work included a BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment (2002), playing Salvador Dali's wife Gala in the BBC comedy-drama Surrealissimo (2002) and an appearance in Rosanna Arquette's directorial debut, Searching for Debra Winger (also 2002), a documentary about women in the film industry.
Cartlidge died September 7th from septicaemia brought on by pneumonia.
By Lang Thompson
TCM Remembers - Kim Hunter
I don't like him. I'll think of a reason later.- Ed Hutcheson
It's not enough any more to give 'em just news. They want comics, contests, puzzles. They want to know how to bake a cake, win friends, and influence the future. Ergo, horoscopes, tips on the horses, interpretation of dreams so they can win on the numbers lottery. And, if they accidentally stumble on the first page...news!- Ed Hutcheson
That's the press, baby. The press! And there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing!- Ed Hutcheson
The working titles of this film were The Night the World Folded and The Newspaper Story. Although several reviews stated that Richard Brooks's original screen story, "The Night the World Folded," was a novel, information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, indicates that Brooks wrote the story directly for the screen. Reviews do note, however, that Brooks based his idea on the 1931 closing of the New York World newspaper.
According to conference notes contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, also located at UCLA, studio production chief Darryl F. Zanuck originally suggested Gregory Peck or Richard Widmark for the role of "Ed Hutcheson." Although a November 12, 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item included House Peters, Sr. in the cast, his appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter news items also noted that Brooks was to appear in the film as a newspaperman, and that Humphrey Bogart's stand-in, Joe Connors, was to make his acting debut in the picture. Ann McCrea, who portrays "Bessie Schmidt," appears only as a corpse or in photographs.
On October 14, 1951, New York Times reported that the picture was being partially filmed at various sites in New York City, including the offices of the New York Daily News and Washington Square Park. According to a March 6, 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item, Deadline-U.S.A. was to have its first public showing aboard a Coast Guard ship on March 11, 1952, at the request of the crew, who named Bogart their favorite actor. Modern sources add the following additional crew members: Music Sol Kaplan; Orchestration Bernard Mayers; and Script Supervisor Kay Thackeray. On April 20, 1952, Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a version of the story starring Dan Dailey and Debra Paget.
Released in United States Spring May 1952
Released in United States Spring May 1952