When I was a kid I kept a mental image of all the different jobs I'd take when I grew up. The short list included being a spy a la Modesty Blaise, 1966, part of a married detective couple like William Powell and Myrna Loy, a Hollywood director such as Billy Wilder, Hollywood costume designer similar to Edith Head, an adventurous archeologist in the vein of Indiana Jones and finally a sassy, smart newspaper reporter like Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, 1940 (pictured left). Obviously I was heavily influenced by our local classics channel and as a result developed an unrealistic view of how many lines of work one can really fit into a single life time. These weren't exactly common fields either. Of course each one of these romanticized career paths are also favorite genres and subgenres of film. One of the most diverse is that of the newspaper picture. These movies fall under the categories of Drama, Thriller, Action/Adventure, Mystery, Horror, Comedy, Film Noir and more. There's something ever fascinating about a fast talking beat reporter operating within both the realms of society on the surface and the underworld of the street. Sound exciting and dangerous, doesn't it? Whether it's uncovering a political conspiracy or fighting for the top gossip headline, a journalist's life seems forever intriguing.
In tribute to this favorite subject, starting April 9th through May 6th, the Film Forum presents"The Newspaper Picture". A series highlighting the action and romance and excitement of what many consider to be a bygone era is dedicated to the legendary newspapermen, Jerry Tallmer and the late great Sidney Zion. The Film Forum has a long list of selections from obvious classics such as Citizen Kane, 1941, B favorites like Shock Corridor, 1963 (a double feature with Scandal Sheet, 1952) and some less apparent, such as Mystery of the Wax Museum, 1933.
There are many screenings of this subgenre and some terrific double feature offerings. There will also be an appearance by film critic V.A. Musetto of The New York Post, where he'll introduce the May 1st, 5:40 showing of The Sweet Smell of Success, 1957. The series programmer for "The Newspaper Picture" is Bruce Goldstein, the Film Forum's Repertory Director. All films are 35mm prints.