I ca around to Edward G. Robinson in my late teens. It was a movie called Scarlet Street that won me over to this talented actor. Before that I only related to him through people’s bad imitations of him and of course The Frog from Courageous Cat. Since the revelation of Scarlet Street, I have been slowly making my way through the works of Mr. Robinson. Usually through horrible VHS copies of his movies or if I am lucky a reissue or on TCM. I keep a close eye on the Warner Archive and was happy to see that a movie I had heard about, but never saw, Five Star Final, was being reissued. So I picked it up along with a few other films from the archive.
In the film, Edward G. Robinson plays Joseph W. Randall , 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. They literally do not make movies like this anymore and it is really fun to watch this dramedy unfold.
I have never seen Five Star Final before, but the print looked good for a film from 1931 and the sound was clean although a little on the lowside (which I remedied by pushing this + volume on my remote :P)
Five Star Final is the type of film that you would normally need to track down on TV. This is exactly why I really like the model of the Warner Archive and want to see it succeed. It not only gives film fans direct access to hard to find titles, but also cleans them up (or at least tries to find the best transfer) and makes them presentable. Which can make all the difference when trying to enjoy a classic. So drop by the Warner Archive and order a copy of Five Star Final today.
Next up from the Archive…Two on a Guillotine!