Park Row | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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This neglected Samuel Fuller feature from 1952, a giddy look at New York journalism in the 1880s, was his personal favorite--he financed it himself and lost every penny. A principled cigar smoker (Gene Evans) becomes the hard-hitting editor of a new Manhattan daily, where he competes with his former employer (Mary Welch) in a grudge match loaded with sexual undertones; meanwhile a man jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge trying to become famous, the Statue of Liberty is given to the U.S. by France, and a newspaper drive raises money for its pedestal. Enthusiasm flows into every nook and cranny of this cozy movie: when violence breaks out in the cramped-looking set of the title street, the camera weaves in and out of the buildings as through a sports arena, in a single take. "Park Row" is repeated incessantly like a crazy mantra, and the overall fervor of this vest-pocket Citizen Kane makes journalism sound like the most exciting activity in the world. 83 min. Also on the program: Jerky Turkey (1944), a cartoon by Tex Avery. Sat 11/20, 8 PM, LaSalle Bank Cinema.

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