The Underworld Story (1950)

89-90 mins | Drama | 21 July 1950

Director:

Cy Endfield

Producer:

Hal E. Chester

Cinematographer:

Stanley Cortez

Production Designer:

Gordon Wiles

Production Company:

Filmcraft Trading Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Whip and The Whipped ; the film was reviewed by some sources under the title The Whipped . According to a news item in HR , Craig Rice's novel, The Big Story , was based on his personal experiences as a journalist. Another HR news item reports that radio commentator Sam Balter was signed to portray a sports announcer, but his appearance in the final film has not been ... More Less

The working titles of this film were The Whip and The Whipped ; the film was reviewed by some sources under the title The Whipped . According to a news item in HR , Craig Rice's novel, The Big Story , was based on his personal experiences as a journalist. Another HR news item reports that radio commentator Sam Balter was signed to portray a sports announcer, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Mar 1950.
---
Daily Variety
13 Feb 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Apr 50
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
1 Apr 50
p. 50.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 49
p. 5, 13
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 49
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 50
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
15 Feb 1950.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Aug 1950.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
1 Apr 50
p. 245.
New York Times
27 Jul 50
p. 29.
The Exhibitor
12 Apr 50
p. 2828.
Variety
15 Feb 50
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Hal E. Chester Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Pres
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Set supv
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Tech adv
Set cont
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Big Story by Craig Rice (publication undetermined).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Whip
The Whipped
Release Date:
21 July 1950
Production Date:
13 August--early September 1949
retakes began 21 October 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Filmcraft Trading Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 July 1950
Copyright Number:
LP216
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
89-90
Length(in feet):
8,141
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14279
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At dawn, gangsters drive up to the steps of the Hall of Justice and open fire, killing underworld figure Turk Meyers and injuring district attorney Ralph Munsey. A radio news report reveals that Turk was about to testify against gambling syndicate chief Carl Durham, and that Munsey blames the shooting on the city's newspaper, which published a front-page story about the secret testimony. Reporter Mike Reese, who wrote the story, is fired, and when he cannot find another job, decides to buy half interest in a small newspaper in the exclusive New England suburb of Lakeville. Mike calls on Durham and asks him for the money he needs to invest in the paper, then goes to Lakeville and introduces himself to publisher Cathy Harris and her pressman, George R. "Parkie" Parker. When a boy bursts in with the news that Diane Stanton, the daughter-in-law of newspaper magnate E. J. Stanton, has been found murdered in the woods, Mike leaps into action, initiating a bidding war between wire services before going out to cover the story. Meanwhile, at the family home, Stanton's son Clark confesses to his father that he killed his wife because she was going to leave him. The butler tells Stanton and Clark that Diane's maid, Molly Rankin, has not come home, and that the police suspect her because Diane's jewelry was missing. Clark is delighted at the opportunity to frame someone else for the crime, declaring that no one will believe the word of a "Negro" over theirs. Stanton is revolted by his son's amorality, but agrees to the cover-up to protect the family legacy, and afterward, Clark ... +


At dawn, gangsters drive up to the steps of the Hall of Justice and open fire, killing underworld figure Turk Meyers and injuring district attorney Ralph Munsey. A radio news report reveals that Turk was about to testify against gambling syndicate chief Carl Durham, and that Munsey blames the shooting on the city's newspaper, which published a front-page story about the secret testimony. Reporter Mike Reese, who wrote the story, is fired, and when he cannot find another job, decides to buy half interest in a small newspaper in the exclusive New England suburb of Lakeville. Mike calls on Durham and asks him for the money he needs to invest in the paper, then goes to Lakeville and introduces himself to publisher Cathy Harris and her pressman, George R. "Parkie" Parker. When a boy bursts in with the news that Diane Stanton, the daughter-in-law of newspaper magnate E. J. Stanton, has been found murdered in the woods, Mike leaps into action, initiating a bidding war between wire services before going out to cover the story. Meanwhile, at the family home, Stanton's son Clark confesses to his father that he killed his wife because she was going to leave him. The butler tells Stanton and Clark that Diane's maid, Molly Rankin, has not come home, and that the police suspect her because Diane's jewelry was missing. Clark is delighted at the opportunity to frame someone else for the crime, declaring that no one will believe the word of a "Negro" over theirs. Stanton is revolted by his son's amorality, but agrees to the cover-up to protect the family legacy, and afterward, Clark offers a $25,000 reward for Molly's capture. Later that night, Molly shows up at the newspaper office and tells Mike and Cathy, her former schoolmate, that Diane had asked her to pawn her jewelry. Mike convinces Molly to give herself up at the newspaper office in the morning, then secretly calls Munsey to inquire about the reward. When Molly is taken into custody, however, Munsey announces in front of the gathered reporters that Mike will not receive the reward money because Molly surrendered on her own. Cathy is furious at Mike's double dealing, but when Mike learns that public opinion favors Molly, he decides to get back at Munsey by taking her side in the press, and recruits the town's leading citizens for a committee to raise money for Molly's defense. Mike meets with criminal lawyer Stanley Becker, who is pessimistic about Molly's chances for acquittal, but when Mike offers to split the defense fund with him, regardless of the verdict, he agrees to defend her. Clark urges his father to take action against Mike, and Stanton uses his influence to dissuade both the paper's advertisers and contributors to the defense committee. With public sentiment now against Molly, Mike and Becker urge her to plead guilty to manslaughter, but she refuses, and Mike is moved by her dignity. That night, Mike returns to the office to find the printing presses destroyed. Mike then gets a call from a woman who has evidence that may exonerate Molly, and vows to get the story published. He goes to Stanton's house, and when Clark hears that Mike has evidence, he tells him to call on his father in two hours. Clark then goes to see Durham, who agrees to kill Mike in exchange for approval of all stories about him in Stanton's newspapers. Meanwhile, Stanton rejects Mike's pleas to run the story, and when Mike leaves Stanton's office, he is intercepted by Durham, who delivers a vague warning that makes it clear who set him up. Mike calls Stanton and orders him to bring $25,000 to the newspaper office in two hours, then calls Munsey and tells him to come to Lakeville, but Munsey ignores him. When Durham's men break in and take Mike away, Cathy goes to Munsey, who reluctantly contacts the police. Stanton and Clark go to Durham's office, where they find the badly beaten Mike, and Durham orders them to take Mike out and kill him. The police close in, and when Clark tries to escape, Stanton shoots him. As Mike is loaded into an ambulance, Munsey tells him that Molly will be released, and Cathy proudly calls Mike a hero. +

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

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