Thursday, May 31, 2012

Only now does it occur to me... PARK ROW

Only now does it occur to me...  that PARK ROW is one of the finest American films of the 1950s.

Funded independently by cigar-puffing Hollywood maverick Sam Fuller, PARK ROW is a wild, dark, ambitious, intricate meditation on the freedom of the press and a nostalgic reverie for the bygone, moxie-filled newspapering glory days of Park Row.  Its scope is vast, even if its budget wasn't– some have even likened it to an indie-CITIZEN KANE.

I don't wish to say too much, but this movie is brutal.  Children are maimed, bombs are tossed, innocents beaten into pulps, and all over the integrity of print media.  Our intrepid hero even gets his hands on a less than 'fair and balanced' rival newspaper henchman, and clobbers his media-distorting ass against the pedestal of a statue of Benjamin Franklin!

Plus, you get to see a Blue Blazer made,

And there's even secret messages in the beer!

Anyway, as far as I can tell, it's only available via the MGM Limited Edition DVD-R print-on-demand collection, but I really can't recommend this film enough.  In an era where true journalistic integrity is the scarcest of commodities, seeing the fortitude, decency, and resourcefulness of two-fisted truth-tellers of yore (both the Park Row newshounds of the 1880s and Sam Fuller himself) lifts the spirits a little.


J.D. said...

Yes, this is a great film and a two-fisted pulpy alternative to KANE. This was also a real passion project for Fuller who funded it himself and it shows in every second as it just oozes vitality, energy and heart.

Sean Gill said...

Absolutely. And I read that Fuller had saved up $200,000 for the film across a decade and a half of his screenwriting and a few years of directing– but made sure to allot $1,000 for his cigar and booze consumption throughout filming. Gotta love Fuller!