Power of the Press (1943)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Run Time - 64 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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John Cleveland Carter (Minor Watson) is the publisher of a once-great newspaper, who discovers too late that his editor, Howard Rankin (Otto Kruger), has been subverting his paper, turning it into a yellow scandal sheet. Before he can take action against Rankin, however, he is shot by one of the editor's strong-arm men. Before he dies, Carter leaves his majority interest to his harshest critic, small-town newspaperman (and one-time admirer) Ulysses Bradford (Guy Kibbee), who is persuaded by Carter's assistant Edwina Stevens (Gloria Dickson) to try to take control of the huge New York paper from the scheming Rankin. The unscrupulous editor is in the midst of trying to pin Carter's murder on an innocent ex-employee, using his chief henchman (Victor Jory) to plant incriminating evidence, but he goes along with this interruption to his plans for a short time, hoping that Bradford will fall on his face. Caught between the upright but too-trusting Bradford and the corrupt Rankin is managing editor Griff Thompson (Lee Tracy), a basically decent sort who has been compromised by too many years of listening to Rankin. When the paper unearths a supposed hoarding scandal involving a top government official (and one-time political rival to Rankin), matters come to a head -- Rankin ousts Bradford, but the riot (and the ensuing death of an innocent man) fomented by the paper leaves Thompson so outraged that he changes sides. But can these three get the goods on Rankin before he covers the tracks on the two murders (at least) with which he was involved?

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Keywords

ambition, murder, upward-mobility, power