Humphrey Bogart is the traditionally intrepid big-city, big-sheet editor whose responsibility to his job, his corps of 1,500 fellow-workers on The Day (as this composite but mythical rag is called), and his moxie in locking horns with the No. 1 mobster, is chiefly sparked when one of his news staff gets beaten up by Martin Gabel’s gang.
Complicating this is the projected sale of the paper by the founder-publisher’s heirs. In midst of the imminence of job layoffs, Bogart proceeds to break the mob, stall the courts’ approval of the sale, on his impassioned, informal plea in the surrogate’s court that a newspaper, its functions, and its relation to its 300,000 faithful daily readers, is more than that of just another chattel. Much of the footage was shot in the NY Daily News press-rooms.
Bogart gives a convincing performance all the way, from his constantly harassed deadline existence, his personal romantic stale-mate, and his guts in avenging the beating given his crime reporter.