An abundance of subplots are expertly woven together by screenwriter/director Richard Brooks in Deadline - USA. Humphrey Bogart stars as crusading editor Ed Hutcheson, whose newspaper is on the verge of closing thanks to the machinations of the mercenary daughter (Audrey Christie) of Mrs. Garrison (Ethel Barrymore), the paper's owner. Though he and his staff will all be out of work within a few days, Hutcheson intends to go out with a bang, exposing the criminal activities of "untouchable" gang boss Rienzi (Martin Gabel). Despite numerous disappointments and setbacks, Hutcheson achieves a pyrrhic victory as the film draws to a close. Throughout the story, the many pressures brought to bear upon a big-city newspaper--political, commercial, etc.--are realistically detailed, as is the relationship between Hutcheson and his ex-wife Nora (Kim Hunter). The cast of Deadline USA is uniformly excellent, from featured players Warren Stevens, Jim Backus, Paul Stewart Fay Baker and Ed Begley to such unbilled performers as Tom Browne Henry, Raymond Greenleaf, Tom Powers, and Kasia Orzazewski (essentially reprising her unforgettable characterization in Call Northside 777).
by Hal Erickson synopsis