Headline Hunters (1955)

69-70 mins | Drama | 29 September 1955

Director:

William Witney

Cinematographer:

John L. Russell

Editor:

Arthur Roberts

Production Designer:

Carroll Clark

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

This film's working title was Deadline Alley . Sound man Melvin M. Melcalfe, Sr.'s onscreen credit erroneously reads "Melcalfe, Jr." The film was a remake of the 1940 Republic film Behind the News (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). ... More Less

This film's working title was Deadline Alley . Sound man Melvin M. Melcalfe, Sr.'s onscreen credit erroneously reads "Melcalfe, Jr." The film was a remake of the 1940 Republic film Behind the News (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Nov 1955.
---
Daily Variety
6 Sep 55
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 1955
p. 11.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Oct 55
p. 650.
The Exhibitor
2 Nov 55
p. 4055.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Deadline Alley
Release Date:
29 September 1955
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 2 September 1955
Production Date:
mid April--late April 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
3 August 1955
Copyright Number:
LP5863
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69-70
Length(in feet):
6,301
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17537
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Dave Flynn, having recently graduated from the state school of journalism with a six-month scholarship to work at the Daily Enquirer , reports to managing editor Paul Strout, who assigns him a story about the city's liquor commissioner, Frank Hoffman. Hoffman, who has received a death threat and is under police protection at his home, talks briefly with Dave, but as Hoffman leaves his house in his car, it explodes, killing him. Dave then reports to hard-drinking, veteran reporter Hugh "Woody" Woodruff, who is very cynical about the corruption in the city, but tells Dave that they can work together. Woody is courting Laura Stewart, who works for district attorney Harvey S. Kevin, who is running for re-election, and has received a number of story leads from her. A few days later, when Dave encounters Laura at a Mexican restaurant where she is waiting for Woody, she tells him that, due to the election, Kevin is anxious to convict someone for the Hoffman killing. She also confides to Dave that Woody used to be a much better reporter but is now very disgruntled and full of self-pity. When Woody arrives, Dave tells him that he has discovered that Hoffman had been taking bribes to provide liquor licenses. Spitefully, Woody sets Dave up with a phony story about the mayor being sued for divorce, and Dave is fired by Strout. When Dave confronts him, Woody says that he will get Dave his job back, but Dave chooses not to be indebted to him and looks for work on other newspapers. He soon finds that he has been "blackballed," but eventually is hired at The Legal ... +


Dave Flynn, having recently graduated from the state school of journalism with a six-month scholarship to work at the Daily Enquirer , reports to managing editor Paul Strout, who assigns him a story about the city's liquor commissioner, Frank Hoffman. Hoffman, who has received a death threat and is under police protection at his home, talks briefly with Dave, but as Hoffman leaves his house in his car, it explodes, killing him. Dave then reports to hard-drinking, veteran reporter Hugh "Woody" Woodruff, who is very cynical about the corruption in the city, but tells Dave that they can work together. Woody is courting Laura Stewart, who works for district attorney Harvey S. Kevin, who is running for re-election, and has received a number of story leads from her. A few days later, when Dave encounters Laura at a Mexican restaurant where she is waiting for Woody, she tells him that, due to the election, Kevin is anxious to convict someone for the Hoffman killing. She also confides to Dave that Woody used to be a much better reporter but is now very disgruntled and full of self-pity. When Woody arrives, Dave tells him that he has discovered that Hoffman had been taking bribes to provide liquor licenses. Spitefully, Woody sets Dave up with a phony story about the mayor being sued for divorce, and Dave is fired by Strout. When Dave confronts him, Woody says that he will get Dave his job back, but Dave chooses not to be indebted to him and looks for work on other newspapers. He soon finds that he has been "blackballed," but eventually is hired at The Legal Ledger and is assigned to check court activities. Dave is present when the district attorney sends over Damasio Reyes to be arraigned for the Hoffman murder. Reyes tells the judge, in Spanish, that he does not understand English, that he is from Mexico and has only been in the U.S. for three days. When told by the judge to ask Reyes how he pleads, Rafael Garcia, an interpreter assigned by Kevin, instead asks Reyes from which state he comes, but informs the judge that Reyes says that he pleads guilty. Dave, a fluent Spanish speaker, takes notes on all this and reports to Ledger publisher Harry Bradley that Reyes thought that he was in a deportation hearing and is obviously being framed for the Hoffman killing. Bradley feels, however, that without another witness, he could become involved in a libel suit and declines to print Dave's story. Although Dave tries to interest other newspapers, all the editors refuse to listen to him and print the "official" version. Dave tries to give the story to Woody, who declines it, thinking that Dave is trying to set him up to get revenge, but reveals that he got Dave the job with Bradley. Nonetheless, Dave accuses Woody of no longer being interested in reporting on issues affecting "the little guy." After Woody slugs him, Dave informs him that he used to be his hero but is no more. Later, after he falls out with Laura, Woody gets drunk and wakes up in Strout's office. Strout sobers him up, after which he goes to apologize to Laura and seek her help with information on the Reyes case. Laura also arranges a reconciliation between Woody and Dave, and they begin to work together on the Reyes story. Woody thinks that Hoffman may have been splitting payoffs with Kevin, and he, Dave and Laura manage to locate interpreter Garcia, who is working as a bartender. Dave tells him that he will testify that he lied in court and suggests to him that he may be murdered in order to silence him. As Garcia closes up the bar, two of Kevin's hoods show up and a brawl ensues, during which Garcia is shot in the shoulder. However, Woody and Dave overpower the thugs and, when the police arrive, Garcia agrees to confess. Woody phones in the story to Strout, giving the byline to Dave. Later, Woody and Laura become engaged and, as another scholarship winner arrives, Dave is given a permanent job at the Examiner . +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.