News and history junkies will enjoy this Sam Fuller labour of love:
Fuller’s passionate attention extended to the plot, the story of a dedicated journalist who manages to set up his own paper, one that will be free of corruption and report the truth. The venture is an instant success but attracts increasing opposition from one of the bigger papers and its heiress owner. Although he fancies the young woman, the newsman resists her attempts to either drive him out of business or have his paper merge with her company. He perseveres in his mission and holds onto his ideals; eventually, she comes to see it his way. Besides showing the daily details of running a paper, Fuller also filled the film with wider historical interest, such as the groundbreaking invention of the Linotype machine and the erection of the Statue of Liberty. For a Fuller film, the story and its lead character, newsman Phineas Mitchell, are remarkably noble and idealistic, showing little of the filmmaker’s typical dark cynicism and moral ambiguity, opting instead for an utterly reverent view of the profession. But it is clearly a Fuller film, not only in the passion he brings to the material but in his frenetically physical directorial style.