|James Mason with photo of Virginia Cherrill|
In his first film, James Mason, who stars, plays ambitious reporter Jim Martin, who lobbies to get assigned to the story of a cop killing. Bank robber Rudolph Weinhart (Clifford McLaglen) shot a police officer while he was fleeing from the crime scene. As Jim pursues the story, he is both helped and hindered by his girlfriend, fellow reporter Janet Graham (Virginia Cherrill). Even as Jim looks over another crime scene, that of a murdered woman who had called him saying she had information, Janet encounters another woman, Sylvia (Antoinette Cellier), who begs Janet to leave her out of the story or her own life may be forfeit. Inspector Greville (Donald Wolfit of Life at the Top) suspects that someone in the newspaper office has more information than he may be telling the police. Late Extra is one of those big city crime reporter sagas that shows life as it purports to be in a bustling newspaper office where everyone's after the big story and murder is the biggest story of all. Although Mason and most of the other actors are fine, the script is mediocre and this can hardly be called an auspicious debut for James Mason. Alastair Sim [The Ruling Class] plays a kindly older reporter named MacPherson. The picture has humor, sentiment and even a little action, but all told it just isn't very good.
Verdict: Fortunately Mason went on to much better vehicles. *1/2.