Power of the Press (1943)

Film Review

POWER OF THE PRESS

Release Date: 1943

Studio: Columbia

Director: Lew Landers

Starring: Guy Kibbee, Lee Tracy, Gloria Dickson, Otto Kruger, Larry Parks, Minor Watson

Related Discussion Topic: The 1943 Home Front

Read more about the 1943 Home Front in the Topics section.

Synopsis

Watson, the editor and majority owner of the New York Gazette is murdered before he can carry out his planned change in the editorial policy of his paper to a pro-war stance. The gunmen are employed by Kruger, the minority owner and manager of the newspaper, who intends to maintain the anti-war, anti-government policy of the Gazette. Watson has willed his interest in the paper to Kibbee, an old friend and the editor of a small town paper. Encouraged by Dickson, Watson's secretary, Kibbee attempts to change the anti-war policy of the paper. Kruger and his henchmen frame Parks, a young, former reporter who had spoken strongly against Watson and the policy of the paper. Tracy, the editor of the paper, has backed Kruger because his stories have sold many copies. However, convinced that Kruger has gone too far in anti-war stories and in framing the young man, Tracy joins Kibbee. Together, they gain a confession from Kruger. Kibbee delivers a strong statement about freedom and its responsibilities.

Discussion

The inane screenplay, based on a story by Samuel Fuller, gets across plenty of wartime patriotism and preaching about freedom and citizenship. This Columbia Pictures programmer is inexpensively produced; the few sets are plain and cheap looking.

Lee Tracy had a short period of stardom during the early 30s before his drinking problem derailed his film career. Reduced to supporting parts in programmers, he looks aged and worn but turns in a dynamic performance.