Five Star Final - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Five Star Final Reviews

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June 16, 2014
I really enjoyed this fascinating take on tabloid journalism and how ruthless it can be. Seems things have not changed much since 1931 except maybe the medium. Nice to look into an era where newspapers were king and Edward G Robinson does a great job as the editor on the brink.
September 10, 2012
Five Star Final (Mervyn LeRoy, 1931)

If you're a fan of Edward G. Robinson's (and if you're not, you should be), you've gotta get your hands on this ridiculously over-the-top melodrama, made very early in Mervyn LeRoy's career and nominated for the best Picture Oscar in 1932 (it lost, and deservedly, to Grand Hotel). Robinson plays Randall, the newly-installed editor of a New York tabloid who wants to turn the paper in a more traditional direction, so he assigns muckraker Vern Isipod (Boris Karloff) to the society pages. You can see where this could go wrong, and indeed it does, in record time, with Isipod attempting to dig up dirt on a socialite in order to prevent her upcoming society marriageā"and in the process causing her family irreperable harm. There is much scenery-chewing from everyone involved, an inspid script delivered with great gusto by the cast, and that still-early-in-the-world-of-talkies overexpression rampant. It's ridculous fun. ***
July 26, 2011
Looks good enough to watch. Plus, it has Boris Karloff, how can you pass that up?
½ December 9, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010

(1931) Five Star Final
DRAMA

An early social commentary film about media sensationalism that involves a lady's attempts in moving on with her life after being acquited for a crime that happened 20 years ago with this particular newspaper stalking her and her husband or not leave it alone all for the sake of making more money and selling more papers! The movie is not bad because it states a particular situation except that if people were to watch this film as of right now, would have already figured out it's message long before the credits started rolling! Well made, but a toss up considering that the media can be held liable in specific situations such as this one if this were to happened today - still very debatable!

2 out of 4
October 24, 2010
A great performance by Robinson and a scathing hatchet job of sensationalistic media. When a newspaper decides to increase circulation by re-serialising a long dead passion-killer case; the acquited defendant finds her life being turned upside down again on the eve of her daughter's wedding.

With film adaptations of stage plays, you rarely see any filmmaking qualities other than point and shoot. But here, there are quite a few tracking shots, including one following a suicide attempt using silhouettes and fades, that are impressive anyway. Doubly so for a 1931 shoot.

A great lesson to be learned to anyone who allows for the manipulation of their morality by a media who merely seeks their dollar.
½ October 21, 2010
A tabloid newspaper is determined to increase circulation. In order to do so they decide to revisit a 20 year old murder case where a woman killed a man for refusing to marry her. The was acquitted by a sympathetic jury because she was pregnant. Now, she has established herself in society with a husband and her daughter knows nothing of the past. The daughter is also just about to get married. What begins as a fairly interesting set-up starts to get a little too far-fetched and exaggerated as time passes. The newspaper cares nothing about what happens to the people as long as they benefit. Edward G. Robinson plays the managing editor of the paper who is tiring of his and the paper's immoral and disturbing acts. The film is never boring, but again, the subject material would have been better served far more toned down.
March 24, 2010
Outstanding melodrama about the cold and heartless newspaper industry, and it is amazing how little things have changed with the press in eighty years. As always, Edward G. Robinson is terrific, Aline MacMahon stand out in a supporting role, as does H.B. Warner and Boris Karloff. It's a heart wrenchings story, skillfully told with solid direction from Mervyn LeRoy. A gem of a film with vivid characterizations and a skillfully written screenplay.
March 23, 2010
Great performance by Edward G. Robinson and others. Deserved the Oscar nomination. Best quote by a newspaper man: "we're nothing but bloodsucking murderers" delivered with passion by Robinson.
½ February 19, 2010
1931 film with a timeless theme -- to what lengths do (and should) media go to increase circulation? Do the media bear any responsibility for what happens to individuals and their families? Are family secrets best hidden... ore revealed? Robinson gives a fine performance, but don't miss Boris Karloff as the sleaziest "investigative journalist" you've ever seen.
January 21, 2010
84/100. Outstanding melodrama about the cold and heartless newspaper industry, and it is amazing how little things have changed with the press in eighty years. As always, Edward G. Robinson is terrific, Aline MacMahon stand out in a supporting role, as does H.B. Warner and Boris Karloff. It's a heart wrenching story, skillfully told with solid direction from Mervyn LeRoy. A gem of a film with vivid characterizations and a skillfully written screenplay.
March 26, 2009
A classic definately worth the rental if you can find it. Surprising relevant, it portrays the lengths a newspaper will go through to get a story fill the bottom line.
March 2, 2009
great cast in different roles for them
December 15, 2008
no thanks not my thing
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2008
want to see this because it was nominated for best picture at the oscars
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