"Deadline U.S.A" is the story of a newspaper facing extinction, though it delves into a neat little crime story that graces page one prominently during it's final days. What's interesting is that the gangster drama doesn't involve Humphrey Bogart as a mobster or a law man; he's the editor of 'The Day', a paper put on the selling block by an owner family at the advice of their financial attorney. The family's matriarch, portrayed by Ethel Barrymore eventually sees the light of 'Day' so to speak, as you know she will. Her conversation with Bogey near the end of the film is a classic tribute to freedom of the press and the role of newspapers as society's watchdog.
There's another side story going on as well, though it's not entirely necessary. Ed Hutcheson (Bogart) attempts to reconcile with ex-wife Nora (Kim Hunter), and though it appears he's hit a roadblock, winds up winning her back in the end. It's never made clear however what the turning point in the relationship was, since Nora was planning to remarry and abruptly changed her mind.
Classic film fans will enjoy seeing Ed Begley and Jim Backus in roles as newspapermen employed by 'The Day'. The mobster being investigated by the paper is portrayed by Martin Gabel. It was with a bit of discomfort watching Bogey's character get into the back seat of Gabel's car to 'go for a ride'. That scene could have gone either way, especially since editor Hutcheson felt compelled to crack wise with a goon who had murder included in his resume. As for the rough stuff, that was generally handled by Tomas Rienzi's main henchman Whitey, Joe Sawyer in an uncredited role, but a Warner Brothers mainstay nonetheless.
With the clock running out on the newspaper, and a judge siding with the sellers, Hutcheson gets to the finish line with his page one story with damning evidence of Rienzi's complicity in the death of his hush hush girlfriend and her brother. But the film ends so abruptly, there's no time to reflect on the bittersweet finale, not even a shot of Bogey and his ex getting back together for a feel good moment.
If you enjoyed this film, you might want to check out another lesser known Bogart movie titled "Two Against The World", it also goes by "One Fatal Hour". There he finds himself in another media forum running a radio station. Like "Deadline U.S.A." though, it may be difficult to find since neither has been commercially released. You'll have to keep your eyes peeled for a cable presentation, or source it from private collectors.