The Final Edition (1932) Poster

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I do recommend Final Edition
flyingchimpanzee14 December 2002
Mae Clarke plays rookie reporter Anne Woodman who's determined to get respect as both a reporter and a girlfriend from condescending editor Sam Bradshaw (Pat O'Brien). Through feminine wiles and an obvious talent for sleuthing Anne manages to gain access to the criminal gang involved in an important murder investigation.

Loads of newspaperman flash is used to enliven this standard story of a female reporter trying to prove her worth, solve the case and win her man. Fast talking editors, bustling, sleep-deprived reporters, dozens of urgently ringing telephones and spinning newspaper overlays are just a few of the fancy tricks used to dazzle the viewers eyes and ears. I do recommend Final Edition however some slightly wooden acting, stilted dialog and a weak climax keep this from being a better effort.
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The Battle of the Sexes!!
kidboots6 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In later years Barbara Stanwyck reflected that she had really expected Mae Clarke to become the bigger star - "She was so vivacious" but with "The Public Enemy" Mae quickly found herself saddled with a "tough dame" screen image that was hard to shake off. In 1932 she went to Columbia for two interesting films. "Three Wise Girls" where she made a vivid impression as the small town girl defeated by the big city and "The Final Edition" where she was a tough (what else?) reporter. Mae had every reason to believe stardom would come her way because no matter how mediocre the movie she was always singled out for praise.

There is a new Police Commissioner on the block, Conroy (Wallis Clark) and he is determined to crack down on crime - now there's a novel twist!!! And he knows just where to look to find Mr. Big - it is the respected (of course!!) criminal lawyer Selby and he is determined to bring him down. You sort of get an idea where the movie is heading when you see Wallis Clark's name almost last in the credits - he is not going to hang around for long!!

Enter fiery newspaper editor Sam Bradshaw (Pat O'Brien) who has a love/hate relationship going with straight shooting reporter Ann (Clarke) who also has a flippant turn of phrase. They put their strained friendship on hold when Conroy is murdered!! Being a mere woman, Ann's newspaper skills are held to be pretty poor by Sam but by feminine smarts, she manages to get the scoop on a mysterious radio repairman who called at the Conroy's home just half an hour before Conroy's body is found. None of this impresses sexist Sam and Ann finds she is still assigned to the boring social pages. Intrepid Ann goes it alone and she trails Malvern (Selby's amorous henchman) to the Seabreeze Hotel where she romances him in a black bathing suit - yes, Mae really does give her all to get that story!! First time I have ever seen Mae in a bathing suit and just to remind you it is a pre-code she has a shower scene as well!!!

Malvern is trying to double cross everyone - he has incriminating documents that he hides in a railway luggage compartment. He hopes to use them against Selby but when his mistress (Mary Doran) sees his picture in the paper cuddling Ann, she gives truth to the saying "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"!!! Pat O'Brien was his usual fast talking self but Mae must have been wondering what she had to do to get a break. She more than held her own against scene hogger O'Brien. Her Ann was tough but warm and determined with a bit of cheeky humor thrown in to dispel tight situations!!
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Fun, fast-moving newspaper story, pre-cursor to "His Girl Friday"
mark.waltz4 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
New York newspaper editor Pat O'Brien is in love with one of his best reporters, Mae Clarke, but fires her when she turns down his marriage proposal. She scoops a headline (information on the murder of a new police chief who won't give in to threats by local gangsters) so he is forced to re-hire her. She goes to Atlantic City to get the goods on gangster Bradley Page, and O'Brien uses Page's jealous moll (Mary Doran) to bring the criminal ring down. Meanwhile, a tired photographer James Donlan desperately seeks time off, not having been "out of his clothes in three nights". This is pre-code gangster film at its best, filled with comic dialogue that makes this film move at lightning speed.

After his success in "The Front Page", Pat O'Brien became typecast in these types of parts, and does them excellently. Mae Clarke, best known as the grapefruit gal in "The Public Enemy", is a spunky leading lady, and far here from the fragile heroines she played in the original "Waterloo Bridge" and "Frankenstein". It's a shame that she never made it into the "A" league of 30's stars because she grabs the material here like a football and runs with it off the field. Bradley Page, always typecast as a villain because of his deep voice, gruff manner and trim mustache, adds more dimension to the part here, especially in the romantic scenes with Clarke in Atlantic City. The audience may be on to Clarke's deception, but there lies a bit of sympathy for him because they know he is being duped.

For a lower ranked studio of 1932, Columbia made some smart pictures that stand up with those gritty films made by the A-list Warner Brothers the same year. They are sometimes more fun to watch than the big-budget and glamorous MGM and Paramount films with their crisp dialogue, depression era atmosphere and wonderful character players. While the film is quite predictable, it is filled with enough surprises to make it better than the average gangster film. It's also nice to see O'Brien being challenged by a female character, the best newspaper woman on screen until Rosalind Russell's Hildy of "His Girl Friday" 8 years later.
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Mae Clarke as a rookie reporter who has to prove her worth...
Doylenf10 July 2009
MAE CLARK has to prove her ability as a reporter in this flashy crime melodrama co-starring PAT O'BRIEN. O'Brien hams it up in true '30s acting style, firing off his lines at everybody in sight with the quick trigger mechanism of a machine gun firing bullets.

The story is a swift moving one of a reporter who gets herself into deep trouble attempting to get the goods on a bunch of gangsters. She's a quick thinker whenever she needs to convince the bad guy that she's just a single woman looking for romance. It's her near escape from danger and her clever ideas that move the story forward, while O'Brien is usually the guy at the other end of the phone barking orders to everyone.

Typical newspaper story with a little romance thrown in. Nothing special, but if you enjoy watching Pat O'Brien ham it up, this is one of his zaniest.
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Mae Gets The Scoop
bkoganbing10 July 2009
When Pat O'Brien was first brought to Hollywood for The Front Page it was because he'd been seen in a production of it on Broadway. But he wound up playing the reporter instead of the editor which is the part O'Brien did on stage. Maybe to make amends, Harry Cohn cast Pat O'Brien as the editor in this film which has a lot of the elements of The Front Page or more accurately the Howard Hawks classic remake of His Girl Friday in it.

The Hildy Johnson role is played by Mae Clarke who a year before was James Cagney's favorite punching bag. Mae proves in this one that her head can be used for a lot more than receiving grapefruits on the chin. With a little snooping that Lois Lane or Brenda Starr can be proud of she whose job was in jeopardy with O'Brien gets a real good scoop on the identity of the murderer of a prominent civic leader and she's doing an investigation all on her own.

All this of course to impress O'Brien both professionally and physically which of course Mae does. Final Edition with Warner Brothers regulars O'Brien and Clarke in the leads moves at a clip more like a product from that urban studio. O'Brien is good, but the film clearly belongs to Mae Clarke.
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Better than most in this genre Warning: Spoilers
Sometimes a movie gets its own credits wrong, and I'm delighted that IMDb got this one right. The opening and closing credits of 'The Final Edition' list Robert Emmett O'Connor as a character named Conroy, and the movie's dialogue swiftly establishes Conroy as the police commissioner. O'Connor spent most of his movie career portraying police detectives, so I was intrigued that he'd finally earned a promotion. But in fact, Commissioner Conroy is played by Wallis Clark, with O'Connor (as usual) in a smaller role, pounding a beat as a plainclothesman again.

This film is excellent, a good notch above most of the crusading-reporter movies of the 1930s. Director Howard Higgin shows real talent; had he not died young, he might have become a major Hollywood director.

Pat O'Brien — young, thin and virile — is in top form here as the brash city editor who walks right into a deadly situation. Mae Clarke is even more impressive as the reporter who gets the big scoop. Clarke was not especially pretty, but here she shows a shapely figure when she briefly wears a bathing cozzy. There are also splendid performances here by obscure actors Morgan Wallace, Bradley Page and Mary Doran. James Donlan does excellent work in a badly-written role, as a photographer (not a reporter; IMDb got that one wrong) who's completely incompetent at all times except when he conveniently needs to be highly efficient.

There are several implausibilities here. Clarke's reporter, working undercover, checks into an hotel under her real name. (Apparently they don't ask for I.D., since the man she's pursuing registers at the same hotel under an alias.) Clarke and her quarry are both able to obtain each other's room keys from the front desk with laughable ease. (Remind me not to check into that hotel.) And a railway station's left-luggage counter will relinquish checked items to anyone who can describe the item's contents without possessing a luggage ticket.

The film's dialogue pulls no punches, at one point explicitly mentioning heroin. Although I enjoy clever-movie dialogue when it's done well, I tend to be annoyed at movies in which every single character dispenses sparkling repartee. This movie isn't guilty of that crime: the dialogue here is effective without showing off. I was impressed by a sequence in which slimy villain Bradley Page tries to seduce Clarke with some very unsubtle double-entendres, and she pretends to return his interest.

'The Final Edition' (good title!) deserves to be better known. It's firmly in the "Get me Rewrite" genre of 1930s newspaper movies, but it's better than most of that breed. It's a shame that Pat O'Brien is the only actor in this talented cast who went on to a major career: even Mae Clarke's stardom was very brief indeed. I'll rate this corker 8 out of 10.
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Fun for Fans of "B"
Michael_Elliott4 September 2009
Final Edition, The (1932)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

"B" movie is in the same mode as THE FRONT PAGE. This time out Mae Clarke plays a reporter who is fired by her editor (Pat O'Brien) after she turns down his proposal. After the police commissioner is killed by some gangster, Clarke tries to prove her worth as a reporter by going undercover and trying to bring down the killers. This thing doesn't have the greatest screenplay in the world as there are several plot holes but that doesn't take away from the entertainment value. The 66-minute fly by thanks in large part to the nice work by Clarke and O'Brien. Clarke has no troubles fitting the role of the tough woman as she has the perfect voice to come off tough and she's also sassy enough to be very charming. O'Brien talks as fast as he can get the words out and also adds plenty of charm making his character, while unoriginal, at least entertaining. The two together make for some real fireworks and one can't help but smile when they two are on screen. Morgan Wallace gets the play the tough guy with Bradley Page and Mary Doran also doing fine work as the rats. I doubt many people outside of fans of the cast are going to bother watching this film when they could always just watch THE FRONT PAGE or HIS GIRL Friday but fans of "B" movies will certainly want to check this one out. There's nothing great about it and it's certainly not a classic but it does have enough charm to make it work your hour.
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Enjoyable but at times a bit stupid
MartinHafer23 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I must admit upfront that I enjoyed this film, though at times it was a bit stupid. Part of the problem is that even for a B-movie, the film had some silly plot elements. Another part is that if you are watching the film to see Pat O'Brien, don't--he's just a one-note performer in this film and his final pledge of his love for Mae Clark comes completely out of left field--completely!! The film is a newspaper film but this time the brash reporter is played by a lady (Clark). It seems that the hard-line police commissioner has been murdered and she's out to solve it and make a name for herself. So, she follows one suspect to the beach and resorts to breaking and entering to solve the crime (isn't this true of all reporters?). But, of course, in the end, she falls into the clutches of the gang and it's up to the lamest rescue party in movie history to save her.

The plot problems are that so many times the bad guys could have simply killed this reporter to end their predicament. After all, they have already killed before and what's one more killing? Also, as I mentioned above, the sudden marriage proposal from O'Brien (the editor) came from left field and made absolutely no sense--nor did her acceptance. Still, because the film moved along quickly and had some enjoyable moments, it's still worth seeing as a time passer. Plus, while Mae Clark is usually a supporting actress in A-pictures (her biggest claims to fame were getting a grapefruit smashed in her face by Cagney as well as playing Mrs. Frankenstein--the doctor's wife, not the monster's). Here, in one of her B-films, she pretty much carries the film on her own and does a decent job.
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