Five Star Final (1931)

89 mins | Drama | 26 September 1931

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Cinematographer:

Sol Polito

Editor:

Frank Ware

Production Designer:

Jack Okey

Production Company:

First National Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Aline MacMahon made her motion picture debut in this film. According to Hal Wallis' autobiography, Wallis was concerned that the newspaper office seem authentic, and to this end, his staff made sketches of the interiors of two newpaper offices in order to create exactly correct dimensions. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Production category. Five Star Final was the first film in which actress Marian Marsh (1913--2006) was billed under that name. She made two feature films in 1930, at which time she was credited as Marilyn Morgan. Modern sources list additional cast members as: Harold Waldridge ( Arthur Goldberg ), Polly Walters ( Telephonist ), James Donlan ( Reporter ) and Frank Darien ( Schwartz ). According to modern sources the newspaper was inspired by Bernarr McFadden's New York Graphic . The film was remade by Warner Bros. in 1936 as Two Against the World starring Humphrey Bogart (see below). ... More Less

Aline MacMahon made her motion picture debut in this film. According to Hal Wallis' autobiography, Wallis was concerned that the newspaper office seem authentic, and to this end, his staff made sketches of the interiors of two newpaper offices in order to create exactly correct dimensions. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Production category. Five Star Final was the first film in which actress Marian Marsh (1913--2006) was billed under that name. She made two feature films in 1930, at which time she was credited as Marilyn Morgan. Modern sources list additional cast members as: Harold Waldridge ( Arthur Goldberg ), Polly Walters ( Telephonist ), James Donlan ( Reporter ) and Frank Darien ( Schwartz ). According to modern sources the newspaper was inspired by Bernarr McFadden's New York Graphic . The film was remade by Warner Bros. in 1936 as Two Against the World starring Humphrey Bogart (see below). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
10 May 31
p. 4.
Film Daily
6 Sep 31
p. 3.
Film Daily
13 Sep 31
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 31
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 31
p. 6.
International Photographer
1 Dec 31
p. 31.
Motion Picture Herald
27 Jun 31
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald
26 Sep 31
p. 37.
New York Times
11 Sep 31
p. 24.
New York Times
20 Sep 31
p. 5.
Variety
15 Sep 31
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Vitaphone Orch cond by
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
General press representative
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Five Star Final by Louis Weitzenkorn (New York, 30 Dec 1930).
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 September 1931
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 10 September 1931
Copyright Claimant:
First National Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 September 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2455
Physical Properties:
Sound
Vitaphone
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
89
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

When Bernard Hinchecliffe, the owner of the tabloid newspaper the New York Evening Gazette , pushes for increased circulation, Joseph Randall, the paper's managing editor, reluctantly digs up a twenty-year-old murder case involving Nancy Voorhees, who shot her unfaithful husband. Randall's secretary, Miss Taylor, who is secretly in love with him, disapproves of the planned article, but Randall goes ahead with it, assigning an unscrupulous reporter named Isopod to pose as a clergyman to get into Nancy Voorhees' home. Her old identity hidden, Nancy is now happily married to Michael Townsend, who gave up his social position to marry her, and is planning her daughter Jenny's wedding to society bachelor Phillip Weeks. The Townsends mistakenly think that Isopod is an assistant of the minister who is marrying Jenny and confess their fears of having Nancy's past exposed. Randall prints Isopod's story and when Phillip's parents read the news they demand that the wedding be cancelled. In total despair, Nancy commits suicide and when Michael finds her body, he too kills himself. Kitty Carmody, one of Randall's heartless reporters, finds the bodies, photographs them, and the Townsends once again make the headlines. Phillip stands up to his parents and insists on marrying Jenny, but in an uncontrollable rage, she goes to Randall and demands at gun point that he and the newspaper take responsibility for her parents' deaths. Fortunately, Phillip arrives and stops her from killing Randall. Randall accepts his guilt and quits the paper, followed by Miss ... +


When Bernard Hinchecliffe, the owner of the tabloid newspaper the New York Evening Gazette , pushes for increased circulation, Joseph Randall, the paper's managing editor, reluctantly digs up a twenty-year-old murder case involving Nancy Voorhees, who shot her unfaithful husband. Randall's secretary, Miss Taylor, who is secretly in love with him, disapproves of the planned article, but Randall goes ahead with it, assigning an unscrupulous reporter named Isopod to pose as a clergyman to get into Nancy Voorhees' home. Her old identity hidden, Nancy is now happily married to Michael Townsend, who gave up his social position to marry her, and is planning her daughter Jenny's wedding to society bachelor Phillip Weeks. The Townsends mistakenly think that Isopod is an assistant of the minister who is marrying Jenny and confess their fears of having Nancy's past exposed. Randall prints Isopod's story and when Phillip's parents read the news they demand that the wedding be cancelled. In total despair, Nancy commits suicide and when Michael finds her body, he too kills himself. Kitty Carmody, one of Randall's heartless reporters, finds the bodies, photographs them, and the Townsends once again make the headlines. Phillip stands up to his parents and insists on marrying Jenny, but in an uncontrollable rage, she goes to Randall and demands at gun point that he and the newspaper take responsibility for her parents' deaths. Fortunately, Phillip arrives and stops her from killing Randall. Randall accepts his guilt and quits the paper, followed by Miss Taylor. +

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.