Deadline – U.S.A.

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Deadline – U.S.A.
Theatrical poster
Directed byRichard Brooks
Written byRichard Brooks
Produced bySol C. Siegel
StarringHumphrey Bogart
Ethel Barrymore
Kim Hunter
Ed Begley
Warren Stevens
Paul Stewart
Martin Gabel
Joseph De Santis
Joyce MacKenzie
Audrey Christie
Fay Baker
Jim Backus
CinematographyMilton R. Krasner
Edited byWilliam B. Murphy
Music byCyril J. Mockridge
Color processBlack and white
20th Century Fox
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 14, 1952 (1952-03-14) (New York City)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.25 million (US rentals)[1]

Deadline – U.S.A. is a 1952 American film noir crime film and starring Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore and Kim Hunter, written and directed by Richard Brooks. It is the story of a crusading newspaper editor who exposes a gangster's crimes while trying to keep the paper from going out of business; he is also attempting to reconcile with his ex-wife.


Ed Hutcheson is the crusading managing editor of a large metropolitan newspaper called The Day. He is steadfastly loyal to publisher Margaret Garrison, the widow of the paper's founder, but Mrs. Garrison is on the verge of selling the newspaper to interests who plan to permanently cease its operation.

Hutcheson has other concerns, including the fact that his former wife Nora is going to remarry. He also puts his reporters to work on the murder of a young woman and the involvement of racketeer Tomas Rienzi, which could turn out to be a circulation builder that keeps the paper in business or else the last big story it ever covers.

Reporters discover that the dead girl, Bessie Schmidt, had been Rienzi's mistress, and that her brother Herman had illegal business dealings with the gangster. Hutcheson provides Herman with an opportunity to safely tell his story, but Rienzi's thugs, disguised as cops, take him away, resulting in Herman's death.

All seems lost when Mrs. Garrison's daughters, majority stockholders Kitty and Alice, refuse to budge, causing a judge to permit The Day to be sold. Bessie's elderly mother, Mrs. Schmidt, turns up in Hutcheson's office with her daughter's diary and $200,000 in cash, implicating Rienzi in his illegal activities. The presses roll as Hutcheson ignores the gangster's threats.




The newspaper used as background on the film, called The Day, is loosely based upon the old New York Sun, which closed in 1950. The original Sun newspaper was edited by Benjamin Day, making the 1952 film's newspaper name (not to be confused with the real-life New London, Connecticut newspaper of the same name) a play on words.

Tough as Nails, a biography of Brooks authored by Douglass K. Daniel, cites the 1931 death of the New York World newspaper as the basis for the film, including the decision by the sons of Joseph Pulitzer to sell the paper rather than run it themselves. The World was sold to Scripps Howard, which merged it with their New York Telegram to form the New York World-Telegram. Twenty-one years later, Scripps-Howard also acquired the New York Sun to form the World-Telegram and The Sun.


Variety gave the film a positive review calling Bogart "convincing".[4]

The film's DVD and Blu-ray debut was in 2016. In the audio commentary, film historian Eddie Muller rates this film as one of the very best films ever made about the inner workings of a major newspaper.


  1. ^ 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
  2. ^ a b Deadline – U.S.A. at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ McCarty, Clifford (1965). Bogey - The Films of Humphrey Bogart. New York, N.Y.: Cadillac Publishing Co., Inc. p. 165.
  4. ^ "Variety". 1951. Retrieved 17 February 2015.

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