Underworld Story, The (1950); Cy Endfield’s Crime Noir, Starring Dan Duryea, Herbert Marshall

Cy Endfield directed The Underworld Story, a noir crime film, starring Dan Duryea, Herbert Marshall, Gale Storm, Howard Da Silva and Michael O’Shea.

When newspaper reporter Mike Reese (Duryea) loses his job at a big city paper, he borrows money from a gangster and buys half the interest in a small-town newspaper, The Lakewood Gazette, in Lakeville.

The newspaper is owned by Catherine Harris (Storm), who clashes with Reese bout the policy of the paper. Reese, trying to use the paper as a step up, latches onto a murder of a woman who happens to be the daughter-in-law of a newspaper magnate.

When a black woman is suspected, Reese turns the story into a media circus to get the spotlight again.

Da Silva plays the loud-mouthed gangster Carl Durham, one of his last roles before being blacklisted.

The newspaperman played by Duryea is similar in tone (a selfish, immoral reporter) to that of Kirk Douglas in Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole (1951), which is a better, more profound movie.

This B-movie was shot in black and white by Endfield and cinematographer Stanley Cortez (better known for shooting Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons).

Dan Duryea as Mike Reese
Herbert Marshall as E.J. Stanton
Gale Storm as Catherine Harris
Howard Da Silva as Carl Durham
Michael O’Shea as District Attorney Ralph Munsey
Mary Anderson as Molly Rankin
Gar Moore as Clark Stanton
Melville Cooper as Maj. Redford
Frieda Inescort as Mrs. Eldridge
Art Baker as Lt. Tilton
Harry Shannon as George “Parky” Parker
Alan Hale Jr. as Shaeffer
Stephen Dunne as Chuck Lee
Roland Winters as Stanley Becker
Sue England as Helen
Lewis L. Russell as Calvin
Frances Chaney as Grace