What is this, the Book of the Dead?

 

1,772, you say? That would put this film around 1950. Those were the days when you could say something like this and not have the audience burst out in laughter:

 

Hmm: that's going to be one hell of an imdb credit page, some day:

 

 

Wonder how this movie feels about newspapers?

 

 

About time! Enough of those damned movies dedicated to Canadian and Peruvian Journalism! Say, who's behind this movie?

 

 

Uh oh.

Now, some people LOVE Sam Fuller movies; he's a crazy man! An auteur! Raw and messy, a poor man's Welles! I've seen a few; the last was "Naked Kiss," which I thought I'd posted here; apparently not. I had high hopes for "Park Row," since it's not just a newspaper movie but one made by someone who had great love for the history of journalism. It begins with wonderful promise, as the hero walks down Park Row, where the great newspapers are all located cheek-to-jowl.

 

 

He goes to a bar filled with other colorful late-19th-century archetypes, each one of them a Bona-Fide Newspaperman, By God, and they all drink schooners and throw around Newspaper terms and wax philosophically about Newspapers. Speeches are made. Ideals are taken out, polished, passed around. The dialogue, written by Fuller, is total hokum, and you realize straight away this might be the most unrealistic newspaper movie ever made. And that's saying something. They're all unrealistic - but this one is so serious and self-important you want to

One bright spot: a fellow named Steve Brodie comes in and tells all the journalists he wants to be in the paper. Gosh, he really does. There was a real Steve Brodie, known for jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. But get a load of who plays him here. He wants to be a character? Don't worry, George. You will. (short video; mouse over for controls if not immediately visible.)

 

Yes, it's our old friend George O'Hanlon, always a pleasure to hear that voice. Did you know George Jetson was actually named George? Now you do.

The enterprising man who starts up a new paper runs into opposition in the form of a female owner of another paper. In 1886. Right. I'm not saying she's an ice queen, but:

 

 

Will she find love in her competitor's arms? Will she remember what the First Amendment is all about and help him put out a newspaper after his machinery is destroyed? Of course. I'll give Fuller this: he came up with the best "The End" card for any movie about newspapers. Ever.