-30- (1959) - full transcript

Managing Editor Sam Gatlin arrives in the afternoon and departs early the next morning, having assembled a morning newspaper for Los Angeles. During this implausibly active day in the life of a metropolitan newspaper, Sam and his wife Peggy argue about adopting a child. The reporter's grandson pilots a military plane from Honolulu to New York. A child is lost in the LA sewers (Gatlin composes a warning headline with picture: "Children Stay Out of These"). And copy boy Earl Collins considers quitting after failing to properly deliver a bet by city editor Jim Bathgate on the sex of children being born to a famous actress.


[title music]

[music continues]

Now, I want you to listen
to what I'm gonna say, Collins

'cause I'm going
to lay it on the line.

And furthermore, I'm
gonna ask questions later.

Now, I don't want you
to drop that a surprise

but I am not the man
who owns this newspaper.

Not even that much of it.

So, basically, I don't give
two hoots and a holler

whether we sell three copies
or 300,000 copies except that

if we don't sell 300,000
copies, then I have no job

and furthermore,
you have no job.

And because of the conditions
that prevail, Collins

long before I have no job

you will have become such
a stranger to this sitting room

that if we had dogs here,
they'd bark at you, Collins.

Okay, Mr. Bathgate. I'm willing
to admit that I made a mistake.

You are? Really?

Well...you've certainly
got character, boy.

Not much intelligence perhaps,
or ready instinct

for newspaper work,
but character

you've got up till here.

Uh, Mr. Bathgate, when I
first started on this paper

we were told that
the most important thing

they'd look for in us
was initiative.

I don't give a damn
what they told you.

They said you're working
the night edition now.

3:00 to 12:00, midnight.

Yes, sir, but
you gotta admit, sir

if it'd turned out
to be legit

I could've won the Pulitzer
Prize for a story like that.

Oh, well, there's always
next year, you know.

Now, Collins, where were
your brains that night?

Some itinerant crackpot
gypsy wanders in

shows you a crumpled piece
of cheap wrapping paper

covered with a lot of lines

and some childish high school
equations on it.

'Tells you that it's
the top secret plan'

'for America's first
manned space station.'

And how did you react?

You not only didn't
throw him out on his ear

you actually believed him.

And then...you assured him
that this paper would buy

his phony claptrap
for some ridiculous fancy sum.

He didn't look like a gypsy
to me, Mr. Bathgate.

Why, because his
ears weren't pierced?

Oh, Collins, one of these days,
you're gonna end up famous

for owning more
non-producing oil wells

than anyone ever
before you or since you.

Well, I don't see what oil wells
have to do with space stations.

Get out.

- 'Just a minute, Collins.'
- Yes, sir, Mr. Bathgate.

I don't want you to even talk
to me for one week, Collins.

'And by that, I mean
I don't wanna have'

'any kind of communication
with you whatsoever.'

If we should happen to meet
each other on the way to the..

Don't you even dare nod
to me, do you understand?

'That's an order Collins.'

Now, get back to work.

[upbeat music]


[music continues]




Do we or do we not have
coffee boys on this newspaper?

As far as I know, we don't.

If we do, I know I haven't
come across one

in at least
six to eight months.

Yeah. Where're the little chaps'
hideout? Under the building?

No, I looked there
one night.

But you might try
the ladies' room.

I always wanted to,
but I never had the guts.

When did you manage
to save up a dollar and how?

Oh, Crockett,
down in the composing room

is making a fortune
taking bets.

I want to put this down
on whether that Italian actress

is gonna have a baby
or not and what kind.

But his odds
are way out of line.

- Boy?
- How are you betting?

On twins, the odds are 50
to one. And I need the money.

Really? And we all thought
you were the husband

of one of the richest women
in America

and became a City editor
just for a lark.

Gatlin in yet?

Why should he be?
It's Thursday.

Oh, yeah.

Mr. Gatlin's not in yet, huh?

What happened to your
new Playboy calendar?

It's Thursday.

Oh, yeah. I guess I forgot.

On account of the wife and I
usually bowl Thursday mornings.

But she ruptured herself
last week.

How long has Mr. Gatlin been
pulling this Thursday thing?

Why, are you writing New Yorker
profile on him or something?

No, lot of us haven't been
on papers as long as you have.

And, naturally,
we're a little curious.

I mean, who goes and puts
flowers on grave every Thursday?

Gatlin does,
and since he's the boss

what business
is it of yours?

It was just a question,
Mr. Bathgate.

Do I need Mr. Gatlin's approval
to have cuts made on these?

Well, now, why even ask?

After all, what is Gatlin except
the night managing editor?

- Of course, you're kidding now.
- Me? Kidding. Oh, no, no.

You go ahead
and you do it your way

because I hear they have
a very good opening

for a man just like you
on the Herald Express.

To think, I've been
feeling sorry for myself

because working nights,
I have to miss

so many of those real good
TV comedy shows.


I'm not supposed
to talk to Mr. Bathgate.

So would you ask him
if he called for a boy?

Now why should I call for a boy
when girls are so pretty?

Tell Mr. Bathgate that I have
been busy in the press room.

So, they're busy
in the press room, are they?

Could it be that the boys
are taking extension courses?

Now hear this.

I want you to bet this dollar
in my name with Crockett

on that Italian actresses' baby.

Tell Mr. Bathgate that I'll
be too happy to run his errands.

Even though this sort of thing
is not part of my job.

Aha aha.

Which way does Mr. Bathgate
want to bet his dollar?

- Twins.
- Twins?

You better tell Mr. Bathgate
that the odds are seven to five.

She isn't even legally
married to that guy--

Just do what you're told to do
and then you can go back

to that place where you all
hide out and hide out again.

Well, it's
Mr. Bathgate's money.

So he can use it
for Kleenex if he wants to.

- But the smart money--
- Will you get going?

[comical music]

Oh, what gives
with these kids?

I started as a copy boy
and believe me

we hustled like the job
meant something to us.

We were eager, ambitious,
scared to death

we weren't gonna make a place
for ourselves on the paper.

Yeah, but like the man
said in that book he wrote

"Times have changed."

Well, I'll bet they never
sold many copies of that book.

These kids are different than
we were when we started out.

I'll say they are.

They don't know how to move
any faster than to crawl

and they can make themselves
invisible whenever they want to.

Most of them are veterans
of the Korean war.

That one you were just
chewing out was a sergeant

with nearly as many
decorations as Audie Murphy.

You were in the army once,
weren't you, Jim?

Oh, you know
damned well I was.

Four long, dreary years.

And I never got any higher
than private first class.

And I never got
any closer to fighting

than Fort Sill, Oklahoma

which does not mean
that I intend to go around

feeling outranked
for the rest of my life.

Don't yell at me. I couldn't
pull rank on a campfire girl.

Let me know as soon as Sam
Gatlin gets in, will you?

I've got something
I wanna talk to him about.

You put your trust
in the right boy, kid.

Just let Gatlin put one foot in
the door and you'll get signal

faster than you can say,
"Richard Harding Davis."

You're pressing again, Jim.

Your humor is not only forced
and reachy, it's just not funny.

Well, I guess that makes
the rainstorm official.

The lady's carrying
her umbrella.

That's not an umbrella, Sid.
That's a parasol.

Lady used to be a Mack Sennett
girl, didn't you, lady?

You, got your decades
all mixed up again, junior.

Even when the Mack Sennett
girls were bowling them over

I was still old enough to be,
God forbid, your mother.

Ah. Even so, I'll bet you
were a living, breathing gasser

when you were about 17.
Weren't you, lady?

Well, cute or ghastly,
drunk or sober

there isn't a man
on this newspaper

who could have gotten half way
to first base with me.

When are you going to learn
to quit when you're ahead?

When I get ahead for once.


[upbeat music]

Sam, you're looking great.

That's me, alright,
Fred, a great looker.

Sam, I've waited
a long time for some way

to show you how much
our friendship means to me.

Now, you know I never bypass
Jim Bathgate on these things.

But this little girl
that I've taken on as a client.

And you know how untrustworthy
Jim is in this particular field.

Sam. Believe me, believe me.

This little girl can stop
traffic in any old freeway

during any old rush hour.

If she ever does, let me know.
I might be able

to get her mentioned
in auto club annual.

I know what you think. You think
this is just another picture of

some little starlet without
many clothes on, don't you?

- You mean it isn't?
- Well, take a look at it.

If you don't replete your front
page to make room for this kid..

...I'll sell you
my mother for two bets.

Well, last week you sold
her to me for only for 10 cents.

Well, she got herself a job
in a laundry since then.

Aren't you
even gonna look at it?

No. My wife
gets real psychotic

if I show any interest
in naked female children.

So we don't tell your wife.

That isn't the answer, Fred.
Not the real answer.


We're gonna have
a news paper tonight, Jim?

Oh, we're gonna
have a newspaper, alright.

Lots of pages with print on it.
Folded together just right.

Headlines in the right place,
all that sort of stuff.

Anything interesting
on the wires?

If you dig the National
Spelling Bee

and Philadelphia's interesting.

How soon do you
want to go to school?

Five minutes.
I wanna pick up the dupes.

Lady wants to see you
about something.

Make it seven minutes.
I'll see lady first, now.

Lady Wilson's still kicking
around in the business?

That's right. And
I wouldn't trade her

for any dozen re-write men
half her age.

You know, Fred

you used to be a better
than fairer newspaper man.

What happened that you
ended up peddling flesh?

What happened?

I made at least five times
as much money as any man

on this newspaper last year.
That's what happened.

Oh, the man sold out
for a pot of gold.

Oh, it wasn't
so much of that.

They threw in some
green stamps too.

Sam, what about
my client?

Well, you just leave
her picture there on my desk.

And if she's half what you say,
and if you haven't been busy

with your retouching
talents again

I may, repeat,
maybe able to use it.

But I'm not promising when.

Sam, I've even forgotten
that you can retouch pictures.

And besides, this girl is
more than just a client to me.

She may turn out to be something
really special in my life.

You're a real pal, buddy.

Don't build your life
on it pal, buddy.

- What about city side?
- Well, it's bleak.

Little three year old girl
disappeared couple of hours ago.

Just on a hunch,
I sent Hobart up.

Look, Sam. I don't know
why you're so down on him.

- He's a good man.
- He was a good man.

Lately, he's been trying to make
like Tennessee Williams.

You give him two bit
domestic quarrel

he tries to build it
into a three act play.

Tonight, we could use it.

Mr. Gatlin, there's Mr. and Mrs.
Bentley Jason want to see you.

They do.
Well, who are they?

Well, they said, Mr. Northcliff
made arrangements with you

for them to be
shown through the paper.

- I forgot. Where are they?
- Right over there, sir.

I'll be right with you, Jim.
You come along with me.

Now, tonight, you are the top
expert in newspaper business.

And you do know whose
friends they happen to be.

I know. Mr. North cliff owns
this whole chain of salt mines.

Don't worry. I'll turn on every
bit of charm I got, Mr. Gatlin.

And believe me

that's enough for a bus load
of over-eager college boys.

Let's go, Tony Curtis.

If you wanna wait in my office,
I'll be right with you.

Thanks, Sam.
I only need a minute.

Take two, they're small.

Mr. Jason, I'm Sam Gatlin.

Tom Northcliff,
called me about you.

How do you do, Mr. Gatlin?
This is Mrs. Jason.

Mrs. Jason.

I'll bet we are nothing but a
lot of irritation, Mr. Gatlin.

Don't give it another thought.

Unfortunately, my job doesn't
leave me whole lot of time.

Luckily, we have here,
a young man whose gonna show you

as much as you wanna see.

He just assured me
he has as much charm

as a car load
of Latin lovers.

Now, I wouldn't go so far
as to say that.

I'll probably run into you
during the evening.

In case I don't, be sure to stop
by office before you go.

- Mr. Jason.
- Thank you, Mr. Gatlin.

Mrs. Jason. See you.

[upbeat music]

Now, my name is Carl Thomson.
And please, don't hesitate

to ask me any questions about
anything you don't understand.

You see, getting out a
daily newspaper is a complex

and rather battling process
to anyone not on the inside.

I can well imagine,
Mr. Thomson.

- Carl, Mrs. Jason.
- Thank you, Carl.

Now if you'll just follow me,
we'll start at the beginning

and drive right on
through to the end.

If it's a raise
you wanna talk about

we got a new directive against
those, just two weeks ago, lady.

As I remember, we got a new
directive against those

way back in 1917.

No, Sam. It was almost 40 years
ago, I made my fatal decision.

Whether to try to lead
a life of relative comfort

or whether to stick
to newspaper work.

What's your problem then?

You know, the speed run
that the Air Force is making

with their new bombers
from Honolulu to New York.

Yeah. But those guys are
breaking records everyday now.

A flight like this has about as
much news value as a milk run.

Routine stuff, lady.


To you and the paper maybe.

The pilot of one of those planes
just happens to be my grandson.


The last I heard of him,
he was having trouble

passing finger painting
in kindergarten.


He finally bowed down
or cheated or something because

he's been a lieutenant in the
Air Force for quite a while now.

In fact, the prolific
little brat

is just about to make me
a great grandmother.

Well, lady, somebody
said it, time does fly.

And I'm just the kid
who can prove it.


What I was hoping was that
the associated press

could give us 95 service
on the progress of the flight.

Get me Thompson at AP.

It's a personal favor,
I'm afraid, Sam.

Hello, Mel. Sam Gatlin.

Mel, shoot us a blow by blow
on every thing you get

on that Air Force run
from Honolulu, will you?

95 service.

Why, no dear, nothing special.

It turns out
that lady's grandson

is one of the dotless fly boys.

Yeah. Thanks, Mel.

You see. All it amounts to,
is knowing the right people.

Thanks a lot, Sam.

And you were actually
considering a life of comfort.

And all the time, you had the
power of the press behind you.

The power of the press?

Have you ever figured out
what that actually means, Sam?

No. But it's a phrase
that has a nice ring to it.

'Don't you think?'

Alright, Jim, let's have
school and get it over with.


Alright then, the sports lead is
critty patrol of fight tonight.

Oh, boy, here's one fight.
Whoever win's it'll be an upset.

- Do we want any art on this?
- Yeah.

Newest picture
of the century would be

if we could get a shot of either
of 'em showing up for the fight.

Maybe, we should
dope one of the boys.

They both been doped so often,
they'd never notice difference.

What have we
got for the gals?

Well, there's a half page
ad in the women's section

for a heaven sent

I said, for the gals.

Since when do you
work on the advertizing?

You read the part of paper you
like and I read the part I like.

Sam, there's
the Carlson Halstead wedding.

Who are Carlson and Halstead?

And why do they
want to get married?

No, they don't, actually.

But the groom's father
owns Palm Springs.

The brides father owns national
chain of shooting galleries.

Have we gotten those AP wire
photos on the hooping cranes?

They're coming in just as I left
to come here, Mr. Gatlin.

Sam, we're not gonna plug those
skinny birds again, are we?

Do you know how many
letters we got

on the last story
we ran on them?

Or do you have any idea how few
hooping cranes are left

anywhere in the world?

No. But I do know that
not one of them buys a paper.

I'm with Jim on this one.

Why can't they just
go to Capistrano?

Like any other well-adjusted
normal American bird?

Pick me a good shot.
We'll run it.

Gee, I sure hope
we didn't beat the Times

to the street
with that one.

That should take care of the
Jerry Lewis department tonight.

We're pretty well
set up then?

Yeah, we're cooking
with a solid propellant, boss.

Except, that we haven't got
one single thing

that could be
read in as news.

Carlson and Halstead
aren't news?

I hope that all their kids
are such much lushes

that the little league
won't have them.

They got a line on that
missing three year old girl.

She crawled into an open
catch basement, they think

she's wandering around down
in the storm drain someplace.

Police are there and even woke
up two companies of firemen.

Is she alive?

They won't know
until they find her.

[dramatic music]

- Is Hobart on top of it?
- He called it in.

Good. Maybe we'll have
something to put

on the front
of our paper after all.

Get Harry and
Simpson out there.

Have each of them take
photos and detailed story.

Do we use that Russian theme
on the lion story, Sam?

Yeah, for now.
But we still got time.

[music continues]

Mr. Bathgate.
Walter Ashton said to tell you

that the police beat
just called.

They caught the strangler
of those three Hollywood girls.

Well, what are you
waiting for, a bonus?

No, sir. It's just that I, well,
used to know one of those girls

who got strangled.
I'm interested, that's all.

What do you mean,
sort of know her?

I had a couple
of dates with her.

Not that anyone could throw
rocks at me, Mr. Gatlin.

What a shame, kid.

You might have gotten
that bonus after all.

But of course, there are dates,
then there are dates.

I bet everything that happened
was strictly her idea.

My family has very
strong views on these things.

That sounds more like
the chivalrous boy

that we've all
come to know and love.

You tag along with me,

and if your story's
really good

you may still even be working
here tomorrow night.

[phone ringing]


No, Mrs. Burgess,
I haven't had a chance

to look at today's puzzle.

Well, even if I had,
I certainly wouldn't be able

to remember off hand
what 51 down is.

Well, of course,
there's an answer, Mrs. Burgess.

All of our crossword puzzles
are thoroughly pre-tested

before we run them.

Yes, that's true. All of the
people working here on the paper

do get to see the solution of
the puzzle a day before you do.

But we're honorable
people down here.

We try hard not to peek.

Well, your sister-in-law
is wrong, Mrs. Burgess.

We run these puzzles
to make friends not enemies.

No, no. I do not know
what 51 down is.

And I'm not being
suspiciously evasive.

I'm sorry, Mrs. Burgess.
I can't help you.

Well, well. Old Fred did have
something after all.

About these crane
pictures, Mr. Gatlin.


- The hooping cranes.
- Oh.

Oh, those cranes.

Yeah, well, you can see
for yourself, Hymie.

'One hooping crane'

'generally looks pretty much
like another hooping crane.'

Which unfortunately, doesn't
sell very many newspapers.

Yes, sir.

So, what say, we use this little
piece of modern art instead?

Oh, I wonder how a girl
gets to be that way?

And, you know, I predict
that women the world over

are either gonna hate that kid

or end up worshipping
at her shrine.

Oh, they'll hate her.

Oh, hi, Mrs. Gatlin. We don't
get to see you down her often.

- Hello.
- Help you?

Thank you.

Well, three years of
marriage is toughening.

Even if a woman's place isn't
necessarily at home at all times

it's never in her husband's
office during business hours.

Except, in case of fire
or flood, of course.

Oh, we got the flood,
now where's the fire?

All I can tell you
at this point is

I think it's going to
start with an explosion.

Right in there.

So, that's what
you do for a living.

You know, you look
a whole lot like a girl

I left at my house
just a little while ago.

Isn't that rather dangerous?

I mean, leaving girls around
where your wife might find them.

That's why I married
a girl from Philadelphia.

You see..

...they can't tell a cheating
husband from a Buddhist monk.

So...what are you
doing later on, honey?

to tell you the truth

I haven't made any plans.

Now, all of a sudden,
you're giving me ideas.

[ambient music]


How are things
on the home front?

Umm. You just left
this afternoon.

Oh, really?

Already, it seems
like days or even weeks.

You try to tell a child bride
how much you miss her

and what do you get
back for your trouble?

Scorn and disbelief.

I think we can use
little more light in here.

And maybe, even a genuine
certified chair for you.

Oh, no, Sam.
I'll only be a minute, I..

I know I've broken
a cardinal rule of yours

by coming to the office
during working hours.

I know several sayings that

cover this situation
beautifully like..

..."Rules remain to be broken,"
or maybe, "You and I..

...we're above man made rules."

I'm going over there
and get him now, Sam.

I wish you wouldn't, Peg.

In fact, I'd like to
call the whole thing off.

Right now.

Call it off?
How would we do that?

I know every argument
you're gonna give.

But what a heel I must seem to
be to you right now--

But you haven't
even seen him.

It wouldn't change anything.
Believe me, it wouldn't.

No, I won't believe you, Sam.

Not this time,
because you're wrong.

An adopted child
wouldn't be ours, Peg.

He could be ours
if we let him be.

And I know
he wants to be ours,

'Sam, he wants to
belong to someone'

'more than anything else
in the world.'

I should have picked
him up about noon, I..

Well, he's been dressed
and packed

ready to go since then.

But I-I wanted
to tell you..


And then, I was afraid.

It just wouldn't work, Peg.


A kid, any kid deserves people
who really love and want him.

And the best acting job in
the world isn't gonna fool him

into believing he has this
if he hasn't.

Well, I know one thing.

I will not leave a little boy
who's sitting in a front hall

waiting for someone..

I'll not leave him
sitting there

waiting for someone
who never shows up.

Oh, don't, honey, please.

Now, please, I--

I'm going to go get him, Sam.

I wish you wouldn't.

It's a mistake
for everyone concerned.

I'm still going to do it.

[phone buzzing]

Rewrite, Ashton.

Who? Yeah.

Oh, well, I think you
want the puzzle editor.

Yes, I have
his number right here.

It's Connor-3672.

Yes, that's in Honolulu.

He mails the puzzles
in from there.

Feels it safer that way.

You're welcome, Mrs. Burgess.


In case you're thinking
there's jumping

you're not alone,
Mr. Galtin.

Hello, Jan. Sit down.

And, Jan, no matter
what you've been told

there are times
when suicide may be

the only honorable way out.
What's on your mind?

Well, Mr. Gatlin, I've been
on the paper about a year now.

Give or take a days, of course.

And I guess it's no secret
how I got shoved into this job.

All that I'm referred to
is the sacred cow around here.

Well, there are times
when nothing else has worked

that knowing the right
people can do the job.

There are times when knowing
the right people can be murder.

Besides, it was my father
who knew the right people.

- Oh.
- But so what?

Does that mean
I couldn't have made it

in this business on my own?

If there's one thing we've got
plenty of

in our family, it's money.

And instead of this
I could've used a little of it

and wasted away
my life on a French Riviera.

From all I've heard, it's not
too bad a place to waste away.

But what if I think I were cut
out for the newspaper business?

I mean, really.
Is it such a crime

that I came from a nice family?

Or that I went
to a good school?

Where, I might add, I worked
hard and did pretty darn well.

Lots of people work hard, honey.
In fact almost everybody I know.

Okay, supposing
we put it this way.

What if I happen to be
a really good newspaper woman

in spite of the way
I got the job?

In that case, you'd be
the exception to the rule.

And how do you know
I'm not just that

if the paper won't
even give me a chance?

You're assigned to Jim Bathgate.

He runs his department,
hands out his own assignments.

When Jim gets ready
to stick out his neck

to give somebody new a chance

it's always because
he thinks they're ready

and that they've
earned that chance.

Well, dandy, Mr. Gatlin.
Except that in a thousand years

Mr. Bathgate isn't
going to forgive me

for coming from a good family,
for having graduated

from Smith College,
for having enough money

to buy my own stockings
or for having a father

who happen to know some people
who could give me some help.

You know, Jan, you may just be
what they call a reverse snob.

And I just may be a well
of a good newspaper woman

which couldn't matter less
if I spend the rest of my life

out there writing
shorts and obits.

What do you want, Jan?

Just a chance.
Maybe I'm a lousy reporter

although, I bet you
about anything, I'm not.

Okay. So I shot off my
big mouth and got myself fired.

At least, I went down swinging
which is the way we do things

in my family.

Fired? All of a sudden, you
couldn't get fired around here

if you turned out to be
a spy for the Mirror News.

After all,
Thomas Carter Northcliff

who started this whole
chain of papers

didn't exactly begin
his life as a pauper.

Alright, precious,
you've won your point.

Why haven't you blown off
about this a long time ago?

- I would have.
- Well, because I..

Am I really gonna get a chance?

Unless you insist on making
obits your life's work.

Gee, after all
my big mouth talk..

What happens if
I can't handle a story?

Well, In that case, sweetheart,
you get your pretty little hide

tacked up right
in the lobby of the men's room.

Come on, relax. You'll get
all the help you need

from here on in.
We've all been through

the shakes of our
first big assignment.

Thanks, Mr. Gatlin.

You don't suppose
Mr. Bathgate's going to be mad

because I went over his head?

Oh, you're not
going over his head.


All of a sudden,
I'm scared stiff.

I know the feeling, Jan, almost
as I'd invented it myself.


How about sending Jan over
to get the woman's angle

on that strangler
they just picked up?

Fine, sounds like
a good angle.

Now, who we got here
to write obits?

How about Collins, the one
who was a sergeant in Korea.

Who won all those medals.
He seems to have initiative.

He's got initiative
and he's got character too.

And it's an
unbeatable combination.

Recommend him unless you can
think of somebody better.

Better than Collins?
Why that boy and I have been

real buddies since he joined our
little night time family.

And you had better
rustle your bustle now.

there's a photographer ready to
leave for the county jail.

You miss a ride with him and
you're gonna go on foot.

Yes, sir.

You know, I thought for
a long time that girl

sort of belonged around here.

Well, you know me Jim. I can
spot real newspaper talent

through ten feet
of reinforced concrete.

Of course. That's why where ever
good newspaper men get together

your name is legend.

[knocking on the door]

May I come in,
Mr. Gatlin?

Are all our copy boys
on the good old Ben

everybody just having trouble
sleeping tonight.

I'm not supposed to speak
to you for a week, remember?

I remember alright, Collins.
And you wouldn't be except

and probable as it sounds.

You may get a chance,
at reporting.

Oh, 95 from A.P sir.
About the bunch of

air force bombers
from Honolulu.

What is it Collins?
Are you trying to prove

that you can read
or that I can't.

No sir, am I really a reporter
sir or is Mr. Bathgate

still turning a knife in me.

In an organization this size,
how could I possibly know

everything that goes on,

Yes sir, sorry sir.

- Collins.
- Yes, sir.


Yes, sir.
Anything you say ,sir.

Well, I've narrowed down
the area where the kid could be.

Which I suppose you could
call progress, but..

I haven't found her yet.
What about pictures?

There's a car on the way in now
with the first batch.

Oh, Ben, see that lady gets
these first from now on.

Okay, anything else?

Yeah, don't ever
have any children, Ben.

Ha-ha. That is like
advising a guy on relief

not to go to Monte Carlo
for this season.

Now, this is our art department.
And this is Mr. Chapman.

One of our staff artists.
Mr. Chapman.

Mr. and Mrs. Jason.

- How do you do, Mr. Chapman?
- How are you?

Would you draw something
for us please, Mr. Chapman?

Draw. Draw?

What would you like?
A dog, a cat?

Or a pig with a squiggly tail?
Or how about a house?

I was always real big
in the house department.

Especially on those chimneys
with the smoke

cork screwing out.

Now look here.
Mr. and Mrs. Jason just happen

to be two of the best friends
Mr. Northcliff has.

And besides
Mr. Gatlin himself

ordered and arranged
for this tour.

Oh, I am sorry.

I hope you won't think any
the less of our newspaper chain

'because of the way I've acted.'

Now what would
you like me to draw?

A Dog, a Cat,
a Pig with a squiggly tail?

How about a house with
the smoke cork screwing

'out of the chimney.'

Now I don't know why or who
he was trying to impress.

But to call me a staff artist.


I haven't had a pencil
or a brush in my hand

since I graduated
from the art institute.

No, my pitiful little job

in this group effort
is to re-touch things.

I take the moustaches of
international beauties

and raise the their dresses
to an acceptable level.

A real man would blow up
the whole joint.

Yeah, well, we have to be
getting on now.

You know how these temperamental
artists are, nuts!

(male #1)
Say, that's good.

Simplicity, clarity,
primitive and childish.

That's exactly the style
I'm looking for.


This is the chart of
the storm drain system

we have around here.

And this, is approximately the
area where that girl could be.


I want you to draw me
a chart of the drains

in just this one area.

And I want you to use that same
simple childish

easily understandable technique,
that has caused you

to be ignored by art critics
the world over.

They did have a course in storm
drains at the art institute

didn't they?

- Oh, they stressed it.
- That's the way to talk.

I knew you belonged on this
paper the moment I spotted

your extremely, low forehead.

What's the latest on Tony?

Just reported over Albuquerque
and they're well ahead

of the old records.

What else?

[music playing on radio]

You wanted hourly reports
on the movie actress?

Yeah, yeah what's happened
to the poor kid?

Nothing, she had
cream tuna fish for supper

and her boyfriend came over
and gave her a pedicure.

A pedicure is the same
as a manicure sir.

I know that.
What about her baby?

Her baby. Well, my guess would
be that everything is still

status quo and it hasn't
gone out to a drive in.

- Or anything like that.
- I'll kill you.

I'm only telling
what I was told.

We sent you over
to the jail with Jane

to help with the
Hollywood strangler story.

We just returned, she's running
it right now.

Well how do you think she did?

All in all I'd say not bad.
The guy really went for her.

But what within being in a cell
and handcuffed the whole time

they were together. But, there
were cops all over the place.

Yeah, okay. Thanks kid.

I don't know weather I'm glad
or sorry that I'm not gonna

be around when those boys
take over this business

that I've known
and loved so well.

Right, right. That story on the
little girl is catching fire.

What's happened?

Everything is good for us
and lousy for the kid.

Every television station in town
already has mobile units

out there, all on the way.

Why didn't we all get
together to help stamp out TV

while there was still time.

Sam, remember the Russian crisis
we were gonna use?

- Our line story?
- Yeah.

Well, here's a story
coming in that makes our

Russian crisis look like an
Easter rule.

As soon as you get it all
bring it into my office.

Ben, I want everything
you got on that kid story.

Here's the spot where
she fell in.

Here's the closest street
intersection, 63rd and western.

We got any art on her
or the family?

Nobody can near the family,
they've barricaded themselves

in their house and they wont
talk to anyone.

We hustled one
of the neighbors for a picture

she had of the kids.

Alright, now fill me in.
How'd she get in there?

She was out with a neighbor kid
playing with a puppy.

Evidently, Dory was
chasing the pup.

'The pup ran into that catch
basin, the kid went after it'.

Well, the other kid panicked,
ran home, was afraid to tell

anyone for nearly two hours.
Then the fire department

and the bureau of
public works were called.

'They found Dory's eye glasses
on the floor of the drain'

where she crawled in,
but no Dory, and no puppy.

'Obviously she got lost,
and started walking'

'looking for a way out.'

So for two hours it was kept
a big secret by Dory's playmate.

'Then they finally started
looking three hours ago.'

And still nothing.

What's the barrier?

Look, there are half a dozen
cut in channels

she could have wandered into,
figuring she could walk

a mile or two in an hour

and that five hours
have gone by already.

She could be anywhere
in that area.

'An every hour that passes,
you can widen that circle.'

Plus the fact that this rain
hasn't let up all day

and the water levels are getting
higher and higher and..

How is it that this catch basin
didn't have a grading on it?

Probably one of the
old one's, Sam.

Get some more help out there.

Send another photographer.
Thompson and Garable.

And to hell with that
dull series of theirs

on smog and its effects on
juvenile delinquency.

And then send Jan
in here, right away.

- Jan?
- The young pretty one.

Out there, who's
built like a girl.

Even though your descriptions
are a little vague

I'll try and track her down.

How big do you wanna
play this?

All the same as the world
series, only bigger.

Jim, this shot
of the catch basin

let's run it same size..

'...across pages
two and three.'

'Across both pages 16 columns?'

- That's right.
- No can do.

Or, can do.

We'll run two eight column cuts
with the gutter down the middle.

Now run a type overlay,
white on black across both pages

use 72 point but only catch.


Then in lower case,
"One little girl didn't."

And read what happened below.


What those parents must
be going through, Jim.

At least, with me it was
all over before they told me.

The boys down in the composing
room are gonna start gunning for

another Abraham Lincoln to free
them after this job.

[dramatic music]

I don't believe it.

What are your
Russian's up to now?

They agreed with us three times
in the United Nations.

- Why?
- Who cares, don't you get it..

They agreed with us
three times.

Well, there's only one answer.

- What?
- Today we were wrong.

Well, Lady Aster, how did you
like your first job?

They say some girls find guys
like that irresistible.

I'll sleep better tonight
knowing that boy's in the cage.

Sounds like the kinda guy
my present wife goes for.

Jan, I have gone over
your story..

I mean, on the side of course.

I have gone over your story,
you're gonna lose a paragraph.

I am sorry, I tried to keep
the adjectives down.

Debbie Reynolds, on this
newspaper when you only lose

one paragraph, that's like
getting a bronze star.

You came up with a good angle

and you seem to know
your way around a typewriter.

You asked for a chance
and you picked this night.

Bathgate's got another task

you're gotta cut more
of your teeth on.

He'll brief you on the whole
thing tell you what he wants.

Well, goodbye dear.

Goodbye, I mean,
I am practically there, sir.

[intense music]

* Boy *

* Copy boy *

* A job's that headed no where
on a one way track *

* Rush this copy over there then
bring it back *

* Boy copy boy *

* Just running all the errands
like without a rest *

* Want to be a copy boy
well be my guest *

* Boy copy..*


Well, you sure fooled me.
Never in a million years

would I have thought of looking
in the society section.

And you, put those
kettle drums away.

Jake, how are things in
'Radio and TV' land tonight?

I don't know,
I haven't been home all day.

I'll ask my kid.

When you do ask him if
Huckleberry Hound

is really a Dog, will you?

[orchestra music]

How are the Dodger's
doing, Vince?

Not bad, considering
we're right in the middle

of the football season.

Oh, that's right, they do have
different times of the year

when they play those various
games, don't they?

Except in February,
which has only 28 of course.

Sam, do you ever
get the feeling

you're spending
your entire life

writing millions
and millions of words

that nobody ever reads.

Oh, that's treason you're
talking, pal.

What would people line their
garbage cans with if we didn't

keep our noses
to the grinding stone.

Good evening, Mr. Pettifog,
anything hot on

the revival circuit tonight?

I'm the real estate editor
tonight, Mr. Gatlin.

Oh, sorry.

On the nights that I'm the
religious editor I sit there.

Mr. Gatlin, this job of mine
doesn't make any sense at all.

What do you mean?

Well, in the first place,
I don't know anything

but anything about religion.
And if you put what I don't know

about religion alongside
what I don't know about

real estate, well, it adds up
to enough total ignorance

to create an absolute vacuum.

Well now, what would you like
to be doing, Mr. Pettifog?


- You'd like to do the weather?
- Oh yes, sir.

Why I'll bet I have known
cumulonimbus cloud

from a cirrus since
I was four years old.

- And that's good?
- It's just an indication.

Alright, Mr. Pettifog,
as of now you are our

weather editor and furthermore
you are going to get to

be editor of this department
without having to give up

your job either as religious
editor or real estate editor.

Now, what do you think of that,
Mr. Pettifog?

I wonder if we're gonna be able
to get another desk in here.

Oh, we'll get another desk
in here even if it means

moving you out.

Mr. Gatlin.

I wondered if it'd be alright
if we had the sign

on the door changed.

But what would you like
it to read?

Editor of Heaven and Earth.

Oh great, Sam, I'm glad I caught
you out, just take a minute.

May I present
Miss Lucile Greghouser

last year's official
Miss Reentry Nosecorn.

I'll bet she was, how do you do,
Miss Greghouser?

Naturally, we'll bury all this
Lucile Greghouser stuff

and get a name that really
fits her.

This is a real sensitive
girl, Sam.

Yeah well, thanks for
dropping by Fred.

Wait, you owe me a minute.

After all, there were some
pretty damaging remarks

made earlier around here
about my re-touching pictures.

And you can't do that to this
overly sensitive kid.



Now, darling.


And that Sam, you cannot say
is retouched.

I don't even care.

'Then you'll run her picture?'

'Fred, I don't think the
public is ready for her yet.'

Now, look Sam, we used to work
together, we used to drink

together, we've been friends
for years, right.

On the strength of that
I'm telling you

if you'll just run her picture

I think it might do it
for me with this kid.

Well, nature boy if you think
I am gonna ask do what

you're crazy.

[instrumental music]

Lucille, would you mind
buttoning up?

'We have a paper to
get out here, you see.'

- Are you gonna run it, Sam?
- I was Fred.

In fact I think
it's already plated.

But when you want me to be
a party to one of your sordid

conquest of some
innocent child.

How could I possibly
justify it to myself later?

Are you gonna run it?

I honestly do not know Fred,
this is one of those decisions

that calls for a
great deal of thought.

What'd I tell you kid,
it's all set.

What are the chances
of the rain letting up.

Ben, remind me to write up
a recommendation for a $10

- raise for Pettyfog, will you?
- Pettyfog?

That guy is holding down
more departments

on this paper than
I knew we had.

When? Tomorrow morning?
Well, that's not gonna do that

little girl any good.

Well, who said
it was your fault.

All I know is that once
a bushfire gets going good

you boys can't come up
with a cup full of moist air.

But just a little three
year old girl fall into

a storm drain and bingo
a cloudburst.

Well, you too Charlie.

No let up until tomorrow, huh?

At least that's what Kruger over
at the weather bureau says

and he's usually right.
That crape hanger.

[phone ringing]

City Desk, Bathgate.

You did huh? Well, look at you.

Alright, dictate and come out
and print the story.

Lady, make this insert
high in your lead.

That was your protege, Jan.
Somehow she managed to get

through to little
Dori's parents and got

the only interview they've
given out so far.

Turns out to be good, why don't
you give her a byline?

- On her first night?
- What difference does it make?

If she got a drop on
everybody else she deserves it.

She'll ask for a raise, Sam.

So would I, pal,
and I'd get it.

You're liable
to fix it so that kid get's

the resentment of everyone
on the paper.

Jim, the only squawk
I'll ever take is when

somebody else comes up with
something just as good

but doesn't get treated
just as well.

What's the condition
of the storm drains?

Spilling over and flooding
out in the valley.

The search crews are still
working in the kid's district.

But not for long, according
to Hobert's last report.

Just in case anybody thinks
it isn't really raining

these are latest
and maybe the last.

[dramatic music]

'That's a rookie fireman
by the name of Johnson.'

'It was his first day
on the job and he got'

'trapped in one of the drains.'

Use it and caption it, a rookie
counts his take home pay.

Mrs. Gatlin's
on the phone, sir.

I'll take it in my office,

They've taken that movie star
down to the delivery room.

That's a little better,
now we're getting somewhere.

Oh, maybe so, sir.
But babies, I just don't dig

all those frantic commotion
people are always making

over them, a baby is a baby,
big deal.

(male #2)
'That is all I have to show
for two years of devoted'

'service to this pamphlet.'

Hey, that's a
good looking pipe.

Ashton bought it
and then threw it away

when he found out
it choked him.

I scrounged it out of
a waste basket.

- It's a real beauty.
- Yeah, it's great.

- Except it chokes me too.
- You moving or something?

I'm quitting.

Why not? Bathgate's been on my
back ever since I started

and it's only gonna get worse
before it gets unbearable.

I don't blame you,
you take it

and you're taking it for what.
You have The Examiner.

What is it?A newspaper
that's all.

It's not like we joined
the priesthood.

Ever seen these things on a news
stand on a day like this?

Look like old bags there
with their faces fallen.

That right, Aristotle and
that's because nobody's come up

with a waterproof paper yet.

And even if they did
we wouldn't use it.

The Los Angeles Examiner
wouldn't use it

and neither would any
other paper in the country

because we have to print
on the cheapest paper

they can make otherwise
we cant sell for a dime.

Do you know what people
use these for?

They roll them up
and they swat their puppies

for wetting on the rug,
they spread them on the floor

when they are
painting the walls

they wrap fish in
them, they shred them up

and pack their two bed china
in them when they move

or else they pile up in the
garage until they're declared

a fire hazard, but, this..

..also happens to be
a couple of more things.

It's got print on it,
that tells stories that

hundreds of good men
all over the world

have broken their
backs to get.

'Gives a lot of information
to a lot of people'

'who wouldn't have known about
these things if we hadn't'

'taken the trouble
to tell them.'

'It's the sum total of the work
of a lot of guys'

'who don't quit.'

Yeah, It's a newspaper,
that's all.

Well for once you're
right, stupid.

That only cost's ten cents,
that's all.

But if you only read the
comics section or the ads

it's still the best buy
for your money in the world.

I am sorry to see you go,


You'd probably want
something to read

on the way home.

I'm not leaving the paper,
Mr. Bathgate.

Yeah? Well, I wouldn't send
your laundry out kid.

But I told you how I felt
about that pig and just because

you have him across the street
doesn't change anything.

No, not even for a minute.
I wish you'd go home

because this storm
isn't gonna let up

and the valley
is already flooded.

Wait for me? Honey, I don't know
what time we're gonna finish.

Yes, I am sorry too, honey.
Alright, goodbye.

'Pictures coming over now'

'were taken at Hickam Field,

'Right before the start
of that Air Force speed run.'

They're individual shots of
the boys and the planes

that they are flying.

I'm not to get too technical
because I couldn't anyway.

Let's say we're in Honolulu.

Now the original photos
of these fliers look like this.

This photo was then placed
on a metal cylinder that was

whirling at a high speed
and was transmitted

to this machine right here.

I noticed that all the pictures
are of the same size.

Eight by ten.

'You see, I took a little
journalism in college and..'

How deep would they run
on a three column?

You may like to see
how we do that.

First, we crop them.

And now that's the picture.
It'll be three columns wide

- That's...six inches--
- You see Mrs. Jason.

Three columns is six inches.

We sight down
the photo like this

using our crop marks.

'Then being very careful..'

..very careful,
we spin the photo

with a steady hand..

And there, our picture
is five inches deep.

'But you got to have
a steady hand.'

Uh. Thank you, Carl.

Thank you, Mr. Shiperham.

- Well, shall we move on?
- Anything you say, Carl.

- 'Thank you, Mr. Shiperham.'
- Not at all.

Eh, Carl?

- My ruler?
- Oh, yes. Sorry.


Yes, Mr. Shiperham?

I'll, uh, be wanting
to see you a minute before..

- ...you check out tonight.
- See me? Well, sure.

Anything you say.
I'll be glad to.

Anything you say, Mr. Shiperham.

'There's a beautiful red girl
here to see you, boss.'

Oh, it's you. What did you do?
Swim back under water?

It's about the only way you're
going to get anywhere tonight.

How is it out there, Jane?

Like a whole bunch of
search flights and confusion

right in the middle
of an ocean of mud.

Is there any hope
for the child?

I don't see how. Only who
am I to write her off.

There's a whole bunch of the
nicest guys I've ever met

who are working their hearts
out. They won't stop looking

for her until they drag them
out of there forcibly.

You better write up your
interview with the parents.

- Sam, she's soaking!
- Sorry, lady.

We're running out of time.

It's alright. I already wrote
it up while I was waiting.

It's in long hand, but it'll
take me a minute to type.

I can read long-hand. Boy?

Give this to Jerry and Linhopp
down at the composing room

and wait for a proof.
I want this back within

five minutes from now.
I said five minutes.

- Yes, sir.
- What's that film?

Some pictures I took
of Dory's parents

while I was interviewing them.

- Pictures?
- Stan Gorman had an extra roll.

- So I borrowed it from him.
- Do you think you got anything?

Sure. I've been fooling
around with cameras since

I was 14. I even have my own
dark room and enlarger at home.

Well, name me one
cute young girl who doesn't.


Run these through the photo lab.

Wait there until
they process it.

Bring them back
to me in 30 seconds.

- What--
- I said 20 seconds.

Yes, sir.

Get out
of those wet clothes.

And change into what?

Come on, honey. I have
some things in my locker.

You can wear them,
till yours dry.

I hate to send a young kid up
in an old outfit like that.

[thunder rumbling]

- Anything the matter, Sam?
- Yeah.

Lots of things that matter.
Things like a little girl

about as big as a yardstick,
lost in a cold black tunnel

with a million gallons of water
all trying to kill her.

Wasn't it you who said to me
that if you let yourself

get too personally involved
in your stories, you'll end up

with nothing but lot of
deep hurts and no job?

Yeah, probably.

It sounds like the kind of
thing I'd say and..

But if they don't
find that kid..

And find her alive..

But, you don't care a whole
lot about kids, do you, Jim?

When they're in trouble, I do.

That when one of 'em
isn't given a break

then someone
could very easily kill 'em.

And I care a whole
hell of a lot, Sam.

[operatic music]

What's the matter?

[dramatic music]

Now I suppose it's confirmed.

I talked to Milt at the A.P. And
I called an old friend of mine

at the Newark Airport.

Toni's plane exploded
in the air

about 10 minutes before landing.

Not one of the crew had
a chance of getting out.

[dramatic music]


You wanna go out
and get real drunk

after we wrap it up tonight?

Ten years ago,
that might've helped, Ben.

In fact, it did.

But these days..
All I seem to do

is to work up a great big
headache to punish myself

for hurting someplace else.

Well, thanks. Getting a
little gassed up on occasions

is the only vice
I've got left.

Now you've gone and loused that
up for me.

[telephone ringing]


Yeah, Hobert?

They did. Dead, huh?

They found the little girl's dog
washed out

at the Manchester spillway.

Well, then she must be
in that same system.

What do you mean they're gonna
give up? How soon?

Hobert, who's running
that mess out there?

Bureau of Public Works?'

'Fine. Now you tell
Fred Bronson for me that'

'if he calls it off'

I'll start going after him
on every page of this newspaper

and that includes the ads
and the comic sections.

I don't care what they think.
You keep them going.

Threaten them with anything.
Impeachment, recall.

'Tell them we demand a recount.
Tell them we'll'

'print everything we know about
them and that little blonde'

but keep them going.'

What do you mean
"What little blonde secretary?"

There's always a little blonde
secretary in everybody's closet.

Where are you parked?

I want you to keep this
transmission hot

from now until the finish.

'Well, if they make you move,
drive with one hand and keep'

'the radio phone in the other.'

Your battery won't go dead
if you turn on your ignition

and keep your motor running.

I know how much
gasoline costs, Hobert.

Looks like we're coming
to the bitter end.

Let's keep someone on both ends
all the time. You'll fix?

- I'll fix.
- Alright, Hobert.

You stay there
until you get somebody

to take over from you.
Then you dig up Fred Bronson

and you tell him exactly
what I told you.

Well, it couldn't have happened
to a nicer girl.

When are you gonna tell her?

Well, I guess there'll never be
a better time than right now.

Or a worse one
for that matter.

Are you still there, Hobert?
Well, you better be.

Hobert, I'm gonna keep you
on hold for a minute.


Honey, now listen hard and don't
pull any wrong plugs for once.

Or you'll be back at your
old job as prison guard.

Of course this is Mr. Bathgate.

We got Hobert on a radio line
three, patch it back

to the city desk until I get
somebody there to handle it.

Collins, take over the ascent.

- But sir, I was told to--
- I'm telling you not to.

And now, move.

Colbert? This is Jim Bathgate.

Did you hear about ladies
grandson crashing in just

ten minutes before
he was to land?

Yeah I'll let..
Is that you Collins?

No you're not interrupting and
you're not on the wrong line.

You're supposed to be on this
line and you stay on it.

Yeah, yeah.
I'll see to it.

Why don't you go on home, lady?

What would I do at home, Sam?

It was just something to say
because I couldn't think

of the right thing.

Are they positive
it was Toni's plane?

It was Toni's plane.

[dramatic music]

I think this time it hurts
too much, Sam.

Here I am,
a thousand years old.

Everybody I've ever
really loved

nearly all the friends I started
out with in this business..


And here I am, big as life.
Still walking around.

Why, Sam?

Tell me one good reason why.

You give me all the easy ones.
Don't you?

I've never been accused of being
particularly religious.

I don't even know if I can
qualify for any other

recognized faith.

But anyone who thinks I don't
believe in something..

...either doesn't know me at all
or they've never had anything

hit them hard enough

to start them thinking
about these things.

What do you believe in, Sam?

Well, I believe there's a reason
for things happening

the way they do. I don't know
what it is. But I do believe

that there is a reason.

Which I know wouldn't be
considered advanced thinking

'even for a seven year old kid
who only goes'

'to Sunday school

But for me, it's a great big,
giant step, lady.

What about this power who's
supposed to be greater

than we are?
Do you believe in Him, Sam?

Oh, there has to be something
or someone bigger than

we are, lady.

Why, you take this microscopic
fragment of the universe

we live on.

In a billion years, we couldn't
have conceived how it started

to going or kept it going
for two seconds.

Besides, what would be so tough
about being a power that's

greater than we are?

In all the years that
we've known each other, Sam.

The only other time we've ever
said three consecutive serious

words to each other..

...was the night your wife
and son were killed.

'Then I was the one who was
trying to think of just

the right words to say.'

I got mine for a speed record.

And you got yours so that some
drunk could have one more

for the road.

[orchestra music]

But, bad as it was, you got
one break, I didn't.


You're still young enough
to start another family.

Maybe you didn't know it, lady.
Peggy can't have children.

Of course I knew. That wasn't
what I was thinking of.

You mean that adoption business?

How did you know about that?

Because you put my name down
on your application as one

of your character references.

Oh, yeah. But all that was
over two years ago, now.

And in the mean time--

They even came to see me
a couple of times.

Would you like to know what
I told them?

It isn't important now.

No? They seem to think it was.

I said I just happen to know
what a wonderful father you are.

'And that any child would
be getting the biggest break

of his life if you
and Peggy took him in.'

Because actually,
you needed a child.

Even more than he needed you.

- You could be wrong, you know?
- 'I have been wrong.'

So many times,
I quit keeping score.

But not about
a thing like this, Sam.

But Toni was really yours, lady.
And that's what makes

all the difference.

All what difference?

The only difference is
that you bring him home

from an orphanage
instead of a hospital.

'And you don't know anymore
about the one from the hospital'

'than you do about the one
from the orphanage.'

It's what you do with them
from then on..

...that decides everything, Sam.

Oh, great. I thought if you had
somebody to talk to

you'd feel better about Toni.

So what do we talk about?
My problems.

That's just the kind of therapy
you pay $25 an hour for.


Hey, how would you like to use
my office for a little while?

I'll be alright, Sam.

You've forgotten. We're not
heroes in this business.

We just write about
the heroes.

Don't pamper me, Sam. I need
to keep right on working.

Besides, everything's
about ready to break.

We've done it
without you before.



Well, that night 12 years ago,
when you got hit by a car

and you showed up
two hours late.

Come on, lady.

I'll dock your salary, if it'll
make you feel any better.

You know, lady..

...she doesn't look nearly as
good in your clothes as you do.

She will.

As soon as she gets
the figure for 'em.

How did she take it?

Just exactly like
you knew she would.

- You got any art on Toni?
- Wired for them.

I want it on
the front page.

Give it a two column cut
with three column head.

We've the year's
biggest story going

and that's gonna cut
a big hole in it.

How do we justify it?

Write it off to 40 years
of faithful service

and save the paper
the price of a gold watch.

- Well!
- I'm on your side.

And day after tomorrow,
we can chip in

and start our own
weekly shopping news.

[telephone ringing]

City News, Bathgate.

Yes, Ms. Burgess?

Well, how many letters?

Oh, you mean 51 down.
The word is "concur."


Yes, sure. No, no.
36 across is "par."

You bet. You're welcome,
Mrs. Burgess.

[comical music]

Well, Mr. Bath...gate.

For once, I'm happy to say
I am, I firmly believe

the bearer
of joyous tidings.

Don't tell me you've come down
with something incurable.

No, sir. But I'll bet
this is even better news

than if I had.
She had twins, sir.

Who had twins? Your sister?
Your mother? My wife?

My wife? No, of course, not.
How could she?

She hasn't been outta
the house in four months.

No, sir.
The Italian movie star.

They called from
the hospital.

How can you be sure?
You count them?

We made absolutely sure,
Mr. Bathgate.

Don't forget, we all
had money down on that.


Tell me, son,
what's your name?

Ron, sir.
Ron Danton.

Well, Ron, you impress me
as a young boy

who is going places
in this organization.

So she had twins,
did she?

Did someone give you a tip
on this baby bit tonight

Mr. Bathgate?

Tips are nothing but the true
suckers breakfast food.

It was a simple
assignment, kid.

I went through our back files,
weeded through all of the men

and narrowed down to the guy
most likely to be

the real father.
And when I checked him out

I found that twins
run in his family.

So with the odds
at 50 to one..

At one time or another, she's
gone with nearly every guy

in Movieville.

Which one is the guy
with twins in his family?

- Her husband.
- Her husband?

Never overlook the obvious,
Ron, and don't lean on my desk.

Now go get me my money
and get right back.

- Yes, sir. Give me the slip.
- Slip?

The slip they gave
when you placed the bet.

Collins, give this guy
the receipt for that bet

you made for me.

Mr. Bathgate, can somebody
relieve me here for a minute?

No. Now let's have
that slip.

I desperately
need relief, sir.

Come on.

Give me the slip.

I'm on the phone,
Mr. Bathgate.

The slip, Collins.

I didn't place your bet,
Mr. Bathgate.

You didn't what?

I- It was such a stupid bet.
And the odds were all wrong

and lopsided, and I'd figured
if I had saved you from your

own temporary insanity, you'd be
kissing me on both cheeks.

Collins. Look at me.
Tell me, Collins.

Am I kissing
you on both cheeks?

- No, sir.
- Am I kissing you on even one?

I still say it was
a sucker bet.

And my loyalty to you
and the organization

that pays my salary just
wouldn't let me stand by

and watch you do
something so idiotic.

And to show you how honest
my intentions were

here, here's your dollar back.

Which leaves only 49
unaccounted for.

I told you, Mr. Bathgate.
I didn't place the bet.

Ah, you decided to book the bet
yourself then, Collins.

No, I-I didn't
say that, sir.

There is nothing lower than
a bookie who welshes on a bet.

And to save you that fate

I'm going to take five dollars
out of your salary each week

for the next ten weeks.
Now sign it.

- No, I can't, Mr. Bathgate.
- Sign it.

My wife's gonna have
a baby in two weeks.

12 weeks.

Yes, sir, Mr. Hobert.
Just a minute.

Mr. Gatlin? Mr. Gatlin.

[dramatic music]


Yeah, Hobert.

They found the kid.

Alright, Hobert.
Now take it a little slower.

Jim. Give me a new lead, quick.

Already on it, Sam. If that's
alright with you and Jim.

Glad to have you
aboard, youngster.

You're crazy. You know that,
don't you?

- I was the first one they told.
- 'Alright, Hobert.'

They just brought her out.
Hobert's pretty sure she's dead.

But they've got to
resuscitate on her now.

Where did they find her?

About a mile and a half
from where she fell in.

'What took them so long?'

They figured she must've been
all over the place.

She got turned around
and then doubled back.

Who found her?

If that isn't a miracle,
it's close enough

to be counted
for one, isn't it?

Alright, Hobert.
Give it all to lady.


'Well, they finally
had to give up.'

'They ordered everybody up
out of the drains.'

'It was the last three guys
out playing a hunch'

'who found her wedged in
between an inspection ladder'

'and the drain wall.'

Cover us with plenty
of side bar stuff.

I want art.
The shot of that ladder

the guys who found her,
the family, the battalion chief

the spectators angle.
The works. You got it?


I'll let you know.

[melancholic music]

You sure now? Everything
is set but the front page.

Okay. The next few minutes,
wind it up one way or the other.

But I promise, you boys
in the composing room

will be among the very
first to know.

After which, I'll expect
to see a new record set in

claiming that page and getting
our paper on the streets

or wherever it is they go
after they leave here.

Yes, cupcake.
Oh, yes, we all know.

If that guy's gonna buy
his own paper tomorrow

he made a killing.

There wasn't a single bet
down on twins.

[comical music]

Sam, I've got an idea.
After we knock off--

I don't wanna get drunk.

You don't?
Why not?

It's been my whole trouble
lately, Jim.

I don't wanna get drunk,
I don't wanna stay sober.

And pretty girls
are beginning to bore me.

I got tired blood, Jim.

Well, I was born
with tired blood.

That's not bad once you
get used to it.

- 'Cause you feel pretty--
- Yeah, Hobart!

- You got that, Lady?
- Yes, Sam, yes.

She's alive.

[upbeat music]

Hobart, tell
everybody out there

I think they did a fine job.

Yes, Hobart.
Everybody includes you too.

What? Brunson wants
to talk to me?

Fred Brunson?
Bureau Of Public Works?

Well, put him on.


For goodness sakes, what are
you doing up at this hour?

Hobart threatened you?

Hobart said that
I threatened you?

Oh, Fred. What little
blonde secretary?

Fred, Fred.

Do you ever take
a drink in the morning?

[comical music]


'You are all made up.'

'Now there aren't gonna be
any changes from up here.'

Because I know there aren't
gonna be any changes.

What do you want me to do?

Swear an oath and sign it
in triplicates?

Alright, Jerry, now,
why not make it official

and put it in the form
of a direct order?

You know, say
something like

"Roll the presses."

Here they go.

Thelma, Merry, Rosanne.

In exactly two minutes

they'll kick them up
to their high speed run.

Every night, I hear
those presses.

Every night, I get
the same feeling.

Jim, in all your life

have you ever really wanted
to be in any other business?


Hello, Sam.

Hello, honey.

He is outside, Sam.

Peggy, don't you think
I have any right

to make up
my own mind about this?

I think you have
every right, Sam.

I just think, in
a situation like this

you don't have any right
to change your mind.

When I first agreed
to give this a try, Peg..

...it was almost two years ago.

And I suppose I'd been
talked in to the idea

that another child might help me
forget the death of my own.

But now I know
it's hopeless.

I'll never be able
to forget him.

Nobody ever suggested
that you should, Sam.

And nobody ever suggested

that you should
forget your first wife

when you married me.

But that hasn't kept us
from being in love

or from being happy.
Has it?

It isn't the same, Peg.

You just don't know.

Then tell me,
so I will know.

I simply couldn't go
through it again, Peg.

You don't know
what it was like.


Months after he'd been killed

I'd suddenly stumbled
across something of his.

A little shoe, a ball,
a report card.

And it'd tear me apart
all over again.

Everybody thinks
I'd be such a good father.

I wouldn't, Peg.

I'd be so scared that some
thing must gonna happen to him

that I'd never
leave the house.

So that's why
you married me, Sam.

Because you knew
I couldn't have any children

you might become attached to.

Don't you ever say
anything like that again, Peggy.

Regardless of anything,
I married you

because I was in love with you.

'I'm still in love with you.'

You know that,
as well as I do.

I know..

...that wasn't very
fair of me, Sam.

What am I gonna do
about the boy?

'If you'd just see him, Sam.'

If I saw him...
I'd fall in love with him.

I know that
as well as you do.

But I know
something else too.

Tonight, there was a little girl
lost in a storm drain.

Peg...I'm afraid
I'd have blown my brains out

before I even knew
either she was dead or alive.


[bell rings]

[machine rumbling]

(male #3)
'Is Mrs. Gatlin in here?'

[mellow music]

What's all that noise?

Is Mrs. Gatlin here, sir?

Come here to me, son.

[music continues]

Sir, what's that noise?

Don't you know
what that is?

They are printing
the funny papers.

'Oh, uh, Carl.'

Are you ready
to go, Lady?

You know, I don't want
to go home tonight, Jan.

You're not,
you are coming home with me.

Thanks, honey.

[comical music]


- Let's go, Ben.
- Oh, thanks, Jim, I'd love one.

'Mr. Bathgate.'

Mr. Bathgate. I'd been
figuring it out with the pencil.

And with $5 out of
my salary every week

well, I just won't be
able to live.

Well, who asked you to?

[upbeat music]

[music continues]