Friday Night Movie number 116 – Deadline USA


‘Deadline USA’ is a film noir movie made in 1952 and starring Humphrey Bogart as a newspaper editor who finds that the newspaper he works for is being sold by the organ’s patrician owners to a company that will care for little apart from the bottom line. This film came out a year after one of Bogart’s most famous films, The African Queen, but some say that this movie shows Bogart giving an even better performance than he gave in The African Queen.

Contemplating unemployment, the paper’s editor Ed Hutchinson, played by Bogart, sees his enforced removal from the paper as a chance to get his life back on track and maybe get back together with his ex wife. However, when a reporter working on a corruption story is badly beaten up, Hutchinson steps up to the plate and takes on the mantle of crusading journalist in order to nail the gangster who assaulted his journalist.

This is an excellent movie and for those like me who are partial to films where journalists are portrayed as hard bitten but honest heroes, this will be an enjoyable and gripping experience. This film is enhanced in its lifelike portrayal of a mid 20th century newsroom by the fact that the scriptwriter and director Richard Brooks was himself a former newspaperman.

This is one of those movies that has a strong cast, including Ethel Barrymore and Ed Begley and a plot that holds the attention of the viewer. It’s also a work that deserves to be seen more and appreciated more.