Thursday, October 06, 2011

Five Star Final

1931, US, directed by Mervyn LeRoy

Given the recent revelations about immoral but standard operating procedures in the Murdoch newspaper empire, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the final shot of Five Star Final is entirely accurate both in its suggestion that such newspapers are true denizens of the gutter - and that they will continue to operate whatever the qualms of an individual journalist or the condemnation of a government. It's only when the buyers turn their backs on the product en masse, as the post-Hillsborough residents of Liverpool chose to do with The Sun, that any meaningful change occurs. The "journalists" at work here would no doubt have found lucrative employment at The News of the World or its American cousins, as they insinuate themselves by any means into the lives of their prey, events then spiraling out of control at breathtaking pace. Although Edward G. Robinson is the film's moral centre, however belatedly, it's Boris Karloff, as a spectacularly amoral hack, who steals the show; the character's personal proclivities and his willingness to smoothly lie his way through any situation roll together, his soft, British tones only enhancing the creepiness of the effect.

No comments:


List of all movies

Most of the images here are either studio publicity stills or screen captures I've made myself; if I've taken your image without giving you credit, please let me know.

About Me

Boston, Massachusetts, United States