Five Star Final (1931)
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A muckraking newspaper editor is forced to take a long, hard look at his dirty profession when his manipulative tactics result in death and disgrace for a beleaguered family. This hard-hitting pre-code talkie, adapted from a stage production, features a bravura performance from Edward G. Robinson.
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Critic Reviews for Five Star Final
Mervyn LeRoy directed, doing a lot better with the newspaper chatter than with the long stretches of melodrama.
This early entry in the Warner 'social protest' cycle hasn't worn nearly so well as Hecht-Milestone's much less solemn and self-righteous The Front Page.
This is an offbeat but fascinating film which pillories the transgressions of the muckraking tabloids so popular in the 1920s.
A blistering indictment of tabloid journalism and built around one of Edward G. Robinson's most compelling performances.
Mervyn LeRoy's expose of greedy tabloid journalism was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but is not as compelling as the similarly-themed The Front Page, though Edward G. Robinson is good.
Five Star Final is perhaps the darkest in the cycle of journalist-themed films produced in Hollywood during the early 1930s.
Thanks to the performances, especially Robinson as the tabloid editor and Marsh as the victim, the film is still engrossing.
Worth seeing mainly for Karloff's colorful performance in a character role.
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