Movie Mirrors Index

Back In Circulation

(1937 b 81')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A reporter and her editor influence and cover a sensational murder trial.

Timothea Blake (Joan Blondell), Buck (Regis Toomey), and photographer Murphy (Eddie Acuff) claim to be giving medical aid to get past cops to cover a train wreck. Timothea finds Snoopy Davis (Craig Reynolds) there, gets his story, and drops him. Editor Bill Morgan (Pat O'Brien) wanted more from Timmy, and they argue. She calls Bill to go out, but he doesn't show. Bill gets a note that motor baron Spencer Wade was poisoned. He climbs into Timmy's window and wakes her, sending her to stop the funeral. Timothea tells the coroner Evans, and they rush to the funeral. Dr. Eugene Forde (John Litel) objects to an autopsy, but Arline Wade (Margaret Lindsay) agrees to postpone the funeral. Evans finds poison, and Buck learns that Arline called the doctor after Wade died. Timothea sneaks into her house and learns that Arline gave him soda. Timothea saw her at the Casino Club, but Arline denies it.

At the Casino Club Timothea gets photos of Arline when she worked there. She and Bill ask Sam to identify the man with Arline from hundreds of photos. Bill sends Timmy after the guy and keeps Sam hostage with a gun to thwart his competition. Timothea finds Carlton Whitney (Walter Byron) and asks about Arline. He learns she is a reporter, and Timothea knocks him down twice. Arline sues the paper for libel. So Bill sends Timmy to persuade District Attorney Saunders to prosecute Arline for murder. Forde tells Arline that she will be arrested; she says she is innocent, but she was with Carlton and turns herself in. Forde criticizes the reporters for persecuting Arline.

In court Carlton testifies that his relations with Arline were hardly Platonic. Bill berates Timmy for going soft on Arline. Timothea tells Arline's lawyer that she is innocent; but Arline won't testify, saying that Timothea destroyed her. Timothea pleads with her to no avail, and Arline is found guilty. Timmy tells Bill that she quit and asks to get married. Timothea goes to Forde and says that Arline is protecting him. She and Forde go to see Arline. Forde tells Arline to talk so that they can marry; but Arline fears his career would be ruined. Timothea threatens to write a story saying Forde did it, and Arline admits that Carlton was blackmailing her. Arline says that Wade killed himself and left a letter accusing Forde of driving him to it. Timothea is jubilant but learns that Bill already printed the story. In the final scene Bill and Timmy see Arline and Forde board a ship, and Timmy shows Bill a paper with news of their own marriage.

This drama reflects the increasing influence of journalism over the public perception of crime and justice. The editor is ruthless, but Timothea's humanity helps her to realize that Arline is innocent.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index