Cast & Crew
Hotshot newsreel reporter Ted Young returns from an overseas assignment to find that his rival, Charlie Sears, has been made managing editor by their employer, Worldwide Newsreels. The two are bickering when J. B. Willet, owner of Worldwide, enters and complains that the wire services are reporting news days before their newreels are completed. Meanwhile, small-town schoolteacher Nancy Jones wins a slogan contest sponsored by Supreme Television. Nancy is ecstatic over her prize, a trip to New York City, despite opposition from her stuffy Aunt Jane and her fiancé Andrew. Ted and his cameraman Bud are sent to the train station to interview a Miss Jones, the winner of the state lottery, and interview Nancy by mistake. The mistake is a costly one, for Nancy is arrested for fraud and evicted from her hotel. After missing an important scoop, Ted comes up with an idea for "television newsreels," which will report the news faster than conventional newsreels or newspapers can, but his excitement is tempered by his involvement in Nancy's misfortunes. Ted quits his job when Charlie refuses to retract the newsreel of Nancy, and the mismatched pair become friends. Later, Nancy encourages Ted to pursue his idea about television newsreels and sends him to meet Grant Powell, the owner of Supreme. Powell agrees to develop Ted's idea, and as news of the deal spreads, Supreme's stock soars. Ted proposes to hire Worldwide to supply them with footage, and so he and Powell stage a demonstration for Willet, Charlie and others. Ted believes that the picture they are showing is Bud filming a dirigible landing as it actually happens, but after learning from Bud that the dirigible exploded on the field, Ted becomes suspicious and discovers that Powell was broadcasting stock footage for the demonstration. Powell knocks out Ted when he threatens to tell the truth, then signs the contract with Willet and goes to his apartment, where he prepares to leave the country with the money he has swindled from Worldwide and the stockholders. Ted enters and fights with Powell, but when the police, called by Charlie, arrive, they mistakenly assume that Ted is fighting for his share of the money. Even Nancy believes Charlie's accusations against Ted, and she boards a train with Andrew to return home. Ted sends her a telegram stating that he has proved his innocence and is in love with her, but Andrew intercepts it. Discouraged after receiving no reply, Ted tricks Charlie, who has been demoted to reporter, out of an assignment to cover the war in China. On the plane, Ted reads a magazine interview he gave, describing how newsreel television is viable. Legitimate television station owner Walters also reads the article and is so impressed with Ted's ideas that he demands Willet find Ted at once. Charlie finds out about Walters' offer to hire Ted, and good-naturedly sends Ted a telegram, ostensibly from Nancy, telling him to meet her. Ted parachutes from the plane and joins Nancy on the train, and they are soon prospering while Charlie broadcasts television newsreels from the front.
John Victor Mackay
The film's working titles were Crashing the Front Page and News in the Air. Another possible working title, reported by Hollywood Reporter on August 17, 1937, is Here's Looking at You, which was to be scripted by Jack Townley. Hollywood Reporter production charts credit Townley with co-writing the screenplay with writer Wellyn Totman, but the extent of his participation in the completed film has not been determined. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Albert R. Perkins, of the March of Time newsreels, was signed "to write a story based on news cameramen," and John Auer was to direct Crashing the Front Page, "an original [story] of his own." Their participation in the completed film, if any, has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter also noted that Lloyd Corrigan was to direct the film, but the news item May have been in error. Scenes of Shanghai, shot by director Nick Grinde, were to be included in the picture, according to other Hollywood Reporter news items. The Variety review commented, "How Republic ever arrived at the title is a mystery. Story and title are completely incongruous. Nobody gets exiled and there certainly is no mention made of the Chinese city. The closest they come is the last two minutes of the pic when Dean Jagger, as the newreeling Fred [sic] Sears, is shown in the midst of the Far Eastern crisis. Even then you must assume that he's in Shanghai."