Cast & Crew
Managing editor John Frank Mitchell, known as "Front Page Mitchell" because of his policy of a headline at any price, plans to publish a story about embezzler Dan Oliver. Mitchell's reporter, Al Roberts, is against running the story because Oliver has made reparations. As Mitchell speeds to his destination, he is pulled over by traffic cop Terry Condon. Mitchell tears up the ticket, and Terry arrests him. At the police station, Mitchell's daughter Joan talks her father out of revenge against Terry, and the policeman is promoted to sergeant. Terry is summoned to Mitchell's office, where Oliver is threatening to kill Mitchell if he does not stop his story. Terry talks Oliver out of his threats, and Mitchell runs an even bigger front page story about his own attempted murder and Terry's courage. At a dinner party, Joan flirts with Terry, to the chagrin of Arthur Bradford, with whom she has been involved. At Oliver's trial, he is found guilty, but manages to escape, after grabbing Terry's gun and shooting him. While Terry recovers, Mary Mallory, Oliver's girl friend, visits Joan and tells her that her father's story has cost her her fiancé, as well as her job and apartment. Joan feels sorry for Mary and calls on Arthur to help find the woman an apartment. While Joan and Arthur seek a new apartment for Mary, Oliver arrives and, believing that Joan is merely seeking another story, hides in a closet, waiting on Joan's return. When Joan and Arthur return, Oliver knocks Joan out and kills Arthur, places the gun in Joan's hand, and then escapes. Although Terry believes in Joan's innocence, he arrests her, despite Mitchell's pleas, and she is indicted by a grand jury. Terry, determined to free Joan, searches Mary's old apartment for a clue and finds a brochure for Danville, a vacation area. As Joan's trial begins, Mary informs Oliver that she plans to testify in Joan's defense, and he threatens to kill her. But Terry has tracked them down, and is able to stop Oliver from carrying out his threat. Mary testifies in Joan's defense, and she is released. As Mitchell hears a newsboy announce the headline of Mary's release, he thinks the hawker is from a rival paper. Terry reassures him, however, that the paper is Mitchell's, and explains that he called in the story himself before he brought Oliver to court.
Katherine Clare Ward
Harry C. Bradley
Robert E. O'connor
Charles C. Wilson
Carlton E. Griffin
Edward Le Saint
Fay Wray (1907-2004)
She was born Vina Fay Wray, in Cardston, Alberta, Canada on September 15, 1907. Her family relocated to Arizona when she was still a toddler so her father could find employment. When her parents divorced, her mother sent her to Hollywood when Fay's eldest sister died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. The reasoning was that Southern California offered a healthier climate for the young, frail Wray.
She attended Hollywood High School, where she took some classes in drama. After she graduated, she applied to the Hal Roach studio and was given a six-month contract where she appeared in two-reel Westerns (25 minutes in length), and played opposite Stan Laurel in his pre-Oliver Hardy days.
She landed her first big role, as Mitzi Schrammell, in Erich von Stroheim's beautifully mounted silent The Wedding March (1928). It made Wray a star. She then starred in some excellent films: The Four Feathers (1929), the early Gary Cooper Western The Texan (1930), and one of Ronald Coleman's first starring roles The Unholy Garden (1931), all of which were big hits of the day.
For whatever reason, Wray soon found herself in a string of thrillers that made her one of the great screamers in Hollywood history. The titles say it all: Doctor X, The Most Dangerous Game (both 1932), Mystery of the Wax Museum, The Vampire Bat (both 1933) and, of course her most famous role, that of Ann Darrow, who tempts cinema's most famous ape in the unforgettable King Kong (also 1933).
Wray did prove herself quite capable in genre outside of the horror game, the best of which were Shanghai Madness with Spencer Tracy; The Bowery (both 1933), a tough pre-Hays Code drama opposite George Raft; and the brutal Viva Villa (1934), with Wallace Beery about the famed Mexican bandit. Yet curiously, the quality of her scripts began to tank, and she eventually found herself acting in such mediocre fare as Come Out of the Pantry (1935), and They Met in a Taxi (1936).
With her roles becoming increasingly routine, the last of which was the forgettable comedy Not a Ladies Man (1942), she decided to trade acting for domesticity and married Robert Riskin, who won two Best Screenplay Oscars® for the Frank Capra comedies It Happened One Night (1934) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936). When Riskin died in 1955, Wray found herself working to keep busy and support her three children. She landed supporting parts for films like The Cobweb (1955), Hell on Frisco Bay (1956) and Tammy and the Bachelor (1957). She also found work in television on such popular programs as Perry Mason and Wagon Train before she retired from acting all together in the mid-'60s.
To her credit, Wray did remain reasonably active after her retirement. She published her autobiography, On The Other Hand in 1989 and was attending many film festivals that honored her contribution to film, most notably in January 2003, when, at 95 years of age, she accepted in person her "Legend in Film" Award at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Wray is survived by a son, Robert Riskin Jr.; two daughters, Susan and Victoria; and two grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Fay Wray (1907-2004)
Leo Bulgakov was a former director of the Moscow Art Theatre. This was his first picture for Columbia. The Variety review remarked that this film was produced to fulfill a promise made by the film industry to the Crime Commission in Washington, D.C. to portray policemen on the screen with dignity.