Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

NIGHT EDITOR

William Gargan [second from left] confronts a suspect
NIGHT EDITOR (1946). Director: Henry Levin.

"You're like me -- there's a meanness inside you that has to hurt or be hurt!"

A veteran editor of the New York Star tells a cautionary tale to a troubled young reporter (Coulter Irwin) which is illustrated in the long flashback scenes that comprise most of the movie. During prohibition days, married cop Tony Cochrane (William Gargan) is having an affair with a cold-hearted, married blonde named Jill (Janis Carter). While the two are parked on the outskirts of town, they witness a woman being brutally murdered. Afraid of losing his wife and son, Cochrane doesn't report the murder, leading to the expected complications. While Hitchcock might have done a lot with this very workable premise, Night Editor does little more than hold the attention, although Gargan's performance is quite good. The oddly-named Jeff Donnell is also good as his wife, Martha, while the supporting cast is at the very least competent. This was based on a radio series that later became a television program. Gargan also played a cop in Who Done It? and many other movies. Janis Carter also played a nasty lady in Framed when her leading man was Glenn Ford.

Verdict: Standard crime drama probably churned out in two days. **1/2.

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