Saturday, November 14, 2015

-30- (1959)



This over scripted box office flop would almost appear to be a TV series pilot movie. Part sitcom, part drama, it reveals the day’s happenings in the life of a major newspaper. Though respectably acted, there are enough uncomfortable moments to make you cringe. The ingratiating dialogues go on forever. The music score is one of the most ridiculously inappropriate ever used. They appear to have taken "Leave to Beaver," "Ben Casey" or "Lassie" themes of the period and purposely mismatched them with select scenes. Speaking of old television, David Nelson actually appears as someone else. William Conrad seemed to lose focus on his surroundings, treating this more like a staged drama. His performance is so over the top you may find yourself blushing as he chews up the scenery. I will say, Jack Webb gives his most animated performance with a full range of emotions. He is fun to watch. But the film, set entirely in a newspaper office/set, is captivating for the wrong reasons. Yet, I would like to see it again. Always a stickler for realism, Webb uses it here to a fault. A feeling we are intruding on something way too personal. Directed by Webb, this film cost him his Warner Bros. contract. 

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