Deadline USA

deadline usa movie posterTo fix journalism, Doug Moe suggests, get Deadline USA released on Video/DVD.

As he notes, a lot of journalist love this movie.

I’ve seen it. I love it. I’m not sure there’s enough journalist who would take an interest to make it’s release commercially viable. However, every journalist should see it. If you’re a journalist and you don’t love this movie, I question your suitability for the profession. Sure, it’s a bit of sap and pap, but the whole notion of “it’s the press, baby … and there’s nothing you can do to stop it … ” is the right touch of sentamentality about what motivates good reporters.

I still believe journalism is an honorable profession and that it should attract bright young people who believe in truth and justice. It should also attract people who feel compelled, absolutely compelled, to get the story out.

Is Deadline USA a great movie? Not by a long shot. The plot is a bit contrived and even by the standards of the day, the acting (except Bogart, of course) is a little stilted. I would also argue with Moe that it’s the best journalism movie ever. I’d put All the President’s Men, Citizen Kane and His Girl Friday ahead of it.

But I do have a poster of Deadline USA hanging in my office at work (along with a Kane poster).

I got the Moe link via Romenesko, who also links to this Moe column that mentions Deadline USA in context of Peter Hamill’s love of the movie (Hammill is one of my wife’s favorite authors). Also, this Bob Green column, which includes the key closing dialogue.

And all but the first quote in the IMDB listing are ones I contributed, including this favorite: “About this wanting to be a reporter, don’t ever change your mind. It may not be the oldest profession, but it’s the best.”

I’ll never be able to argue with that.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s on teevee every six months or so. Just set your Tivo to wait for it.

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