Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 17th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1952
Director: Richard Brooks
Writer: Richard Brooks
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore, Kim Hunter, Ed Begley, Warren Stevens, Paul Stewart, Martin Gabel, Jim Backus
BluRay released: July 26th, 2016
Approximate running time: 87 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: After learning that the newspaper that he has poured his heart and soul into is about to be sold, an editor decides to go out with a bang as he puts all of the newspapers resources into exposing a ruthless crime boss.
Deadline – U.S.A. was written and directed by Richard Brooks whose other notable films include, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Professionals, In Cold Blood and Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Key collaborators on Deadline – U.S.A. include, cinematographer Milton R. Krasner (The Woman in the Window, Scarlett Street) and composer Cyril Mockridge (Moontide, My Darling Clementine).
Actor Humphry dbar.Bogart was no stranger crime / gangster themed dramas with some of his more notable crime / gangster films being, The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, Key Largo and, In a Lonely Place. On the surface Deadline – U.S.A. appears to be a melodrama about the newspaper industry. When the end result is something that bears more than a striking resemble to the aforementioned crime / gangster themed dramas.
At the heart of Deadline – U.S.A. is a story about a man who lost his way. And when he is one the verge of losing the only constant he has known in his life. He finally pushes back by taking on a crime boss who has gravely injured one of his co-workers. It is ultimately through this act that he rediscovers the things that are most precious to him.
Without a doubt this film’s greatest strength is the way it injects social commentary. And more importantly how it foreshadows the direction that news industry would eventually morph into. An industry where tabloid journalism mirrors more traditional journalism. With an emphasis on stories rooted into scandal.
Narrative wise this film features three meticulously constructed plots that effort intertwine with each other. The first of these three plots revolves around a crime boss named Tomas Rienzi and Ed Hutcheson, the editor of the newspaper who is hell bent on bringing him down. The second of these three plots revolves around the newspaper and those who work there. The third of these three plots revolves around Hutcheson and his ex-wife, who he wants to get back together wife.
From a production standpoint there is not an area where this film does not excel and then some. The film is beautifully shot and though this is not a Film Noir per say, there are a handful of moments that visuals that are reminiscent of Film Noir. Standout moments in this film include, the scene where Hutcheson is first introduced to Rienzi, who has invited him for a ride in his car. Another standout moment is the film’s finale where Hutcheson who has now found what he has lost stands up to Rienzi, once and for all.
Performance wise, the entire cast are all good in their respective roles. With Humphrey Bogart’s performance standing head and shoulder above the rest. Other standout performances include, Martin Gabel (Marnie) in the role of Tomas Rienzi and Kim Hunter (A Streetcar Named Desire) in the role of Hutcheson’s ex-wife Nora.
Deadline – U.S.A. comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer is in great shape, details look crisp, black and contrast levels look strong throughout. Also there are no issues with compression and DNR is kept in check.
EExtras for this release include, trailers for Deadline – U.S.A., Shield for Murder and The Captive City and an audio commentary with Film Historian Eddie Muller.
Director / screenwriter Richard Brooks, Humphrey Bogart and his performance, the real life events that were incorporated into the film, how prophetic Brooks was about the news industry when compared to today’s news industry, the cast and information about them and other production related topics. Overall Deadline – U.S.A. gets a solid release from Kino Lorber.
Note: This film is also being released by Kino Lorber on DVD.