Written and Posted by Sarah
This is one of my two very favorite Duryea films. Dan plays a big-time New York City reporter (working for a syndicate that is owned by Herbert Marshall) who gets blacklisted when his editor double-crosses him. Out of a job and unable to land a new one anywhere in the city, he decides to invest in a small-town paper (owned by Gale Storm). He starts out with questionable motives and not much in the way of ethics. His goal: making money.
Coincidentally, the small town just happens to be the home of syndicate owner Marshall, and when Marshall's family gets caught up in a murder Duryea sees his chance to make a buck. The story is bigger than he bargained for, though, and he ends up entangled in a mesh of small town committees, an Underworld gang and court trial preparations accusing an innocent girl (Anderson) of the crime. Meanwhile, he's falling for Gale Storm (don't worry --- no mushy stuff involved!). Dan reforms and ends up fighting for the cause of justice, so we actually get to root of Mr. Duryea.
This film gives Dan D. the chance to prove his acting abilities in all realms short of crying. It's got humor, action, drama, speeches and heroism. Duryea's talent really shines!
It's hard to even pick out "favorite" moments, because the whole ninety minute film is a gem. The wind-up when Mr. D. is getting ready to confront Marshall and da Silva is pretty captivating. The use of film noir lighting with the black and white photography is absolutely magnificent. It's about the best example of these old lighting techniques that we've ever seen. Herbert Marshall is great as the big-time syndicate owner with a worthless son, and Howard da Silva is utterly despicable as the Underworld gang leader.
This film was released on DVD through the Warner Brothers Archive Collection and is one of the best restoration jobs of an old film. I definitely recommend this one! If you'd like to read a blow-by-blow synopsis then CLICK HERE.