Five Star Final is a 1931 American crime film. It was written by Robert Lord and Byron Morgan from the play by Louis Weitzenkorn, and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. The movie stars Edward G. Robinson and features H. B. Warner, Marian Marsh, Oscar Apfel, Aline MacMahon, Frances Starr, Ona Munson, and Boris Karloff.
The title refers to an era when competing newspapers published a series of editions during the day, in this case marking its final edition front page with five stars and the word "Final." "Five Star Final" is also a font similar to those often used in newspaper headlines.
Warners remade the film in 1936 as Two Against the World, also known as One Fatal Hour, starring Humphrey Bogart and set in a radio station instead of a newspaper.
The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Joseph W. Randall (Edward G. Robinson), the city editor of a tabloid newspaper, reluctantly agrees when publisher Bernard Hinchecliffe (Oscar Apfel) plans to boost circulation with a restrospective series on a 20-year-old murder and scandal, involving a secretary, Nancy Voorhees (Frances Starr), who shot the man who got her pregnant and then refused to marry her. Nancy is now married to Michael Townsend (H. B. Warner), an upstanding member of society, and has a daughter, Jenny (Marian Marsh), about to marry the son of a socially prominent family, Philip Weeks (Anthony Bushell). She reacts with horror at the renewed interest in the scandal she had put behind her.
To dig up dirt about Nancy, Randall assigns an unscrupulous reporter, "Reverend" T. Vernon Isopod (Boris Karloff), who wears a clerical collar as a device to win the confidence of the bride's parents on the eve of the wedding. They confess to him their concerns that Nancy's past will come out, and he uses their information to write a story that Randall prints. Nancy tries get Randall to back away from the story, but when he refuses she kills herself, as does her huband shortly afterwards. Phillip's parents pressure him to call off the wedding to Nancy's daughter Jenny, but he refuses, and they disinherit him. An enraged Jenny threatens Randall at gun point, attempting to force him to take responsibility for the deaths of her mother and father, but Philip shows up and calms her down. A guilty Randall decides to quit the paper, as does his secretary Miss Taylor (Aline MacMahon), who's been in love with him for years.
Full article ▸