Deadline U.S.A. (1952)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Deadline USA is a moderately entertaining newspaper melodrama that houses an immensely entertaining star turn from Humphrey Bogart. Although his work in Deadline has tended to be overlooked in favor of his work in the more-or-less contemporaneous The African Queen, Bogart is simply aces here. Looking like he hasn't slept in days and clearly tired of the way that the world demands a constant fight but nevertheless unwilling to give up on that fight, Bogart's Hutcheson is a beautifully realized portrait. There's the sharp wit that we associate with a Bogart character, as well as that veneer that is both off-puttingly honest and surprisingly polite; when Bogart opens his mouth, the delivery is very often the opposite of what we expect, even as the words are exactly what is needed. He has a fine "opposite number" in Kim Hunter, and there are good performances as well from Ed Begley, Martin Gabel and especially Ethel Barrymore. Although Deadline's screenplay features some appropriately sharp dialogue, the story is not as interesting as one might wish and in places gets a mite clumsy. Richard Brooks' direction is good, aided by some fine Milton Krasner lensing.