Archive of films Park Row / Park Row
1952, 83 min
Section: Tribute to Samuel Fuller
One of his most personal films, Fuller financed this passionate tribute to American journalism out of his own pocket. With the help of an enthusiastic group of friends, hot-headed idealist Phineas Mitchell (Gene Evans) starts up his own daily in 1880s lower Manhattan and the competition reacts unscrupulously to its meteoric popularity.
"The press is good or evil according to the character of those who direct it.” Such is the claim made in Park Row, a tribute to American journalism and at the same time one of Fuller’s most personal films. At the beginning of the fifties the established filmmaker took advantage of his contracted right to shoot an independent project beyond his obligations to Fox: for $200,000 out of his own pocket he shot a picture whose title refers to the street in lower Manhattan where American journalism was born. It provided Fuller with the inspiration for a location to shoot the story of newspaperman Phineas Mitchell, a hot-headed idealist who starts up his own daily in the 1880s with the help of an enthusiastic group of friends. The immediate popularity of The Globe, the brainchild of Mitchell’s infectiously stubborn efforts to be truthful at any cost and to fight for the rights of the "ordinary man” with pen and fist, is a thorn in Charity Hackett’s side. She is the wealthy publisher of a competing paper, and the situation escalates when the conflict over ideas grows into a violent battle that moves from ink-stained desktops into the streets. In a screenplay for the prototypical independent film, Fuller professed his love and pride for the profession that fundamentally influenced his early direction in life. Park Row is a cinematic declaration of idealism that embraces sentiment and whose intensity and infectious energy literally cause people to rise up out of their seats.
About the film
Black & white, 35 mm
|Section:||Tribute to Samuel Fuller|
|Dir. of Photography:||John. L. Russell|
|Production:||Samuel Fuller Productions|
|Cast:||Gene Evans, Mary Welch, Bela Kovacs, Herbert Heyes|