The Underworld Story (1950) Cy Endfield
Warner DVD (1:31)
Newspaper reporter Mike Reese (Dan Duryea) gets canned from his job at a big city paper and discovers that no one will hire him. Desperate, he borrows $5,000 from a local gangster (Howard Da Silva) and buys a half interest in the tiny Lakewood Gazette in the sleepy town of Lakewood, where nothing ever happens other than the occasional bake sale and a few obituaries.
Cathy Harris (Gale Storm, below right) is initially excited to get Reese until she discovers their philosophies on newspapers are radically different. When he discovers that a local murdered woman has connections to a big city newspaper mogul, Reese plays it up for all its worth, creating a dangerous situation for himself.
The Underworld Story actually appeared before another similar film, the Billy Wilder masterpiece Ace in the Hole, and while it’s not on the level of the Wilder film, it’s quite good, especially Duryea. The Underworld Story touches on small towns, journalism ethics, racism, and much more. Seek this one out. (And by the way, Happy Thanksgiving!)
Next: Victor Mature in Liverpool! (And he wasn’t trying to be the 5th Beatle…)
Photos: IMDb, Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings