7.2/10
1,510
42 user 29 critic

Five Star Final (1931)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 26 September 1931 (USA)
Trailer
1:55 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Louis Weitzenkorn (based on the play by), Byron Morgan (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins
Arrowsmith (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Ronald Colman, Helen Hayes, Richard Bennett
Bad Girl (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man and woman, skeptical about romance, nonetheless fall in love and are wed, but their lack of confidence in the opposite sex haunts their marriage.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: James Dunn, Sally Eilers, Minna Gombell
The Big House (1930)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing
Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An unhappily married couple try to come between a happy one.

Directors: George Cukor, Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The adoptive father of a young woman is horrified to learn she plans to marry the son of the man who accidentally killed her aunt years before.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
The Champ I (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A meek milquetoast of a clerk is mistaken for Public Enemy #1, and the notorious killer takes advantage of the situation.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur, Arthur Hohl
Two Seconds (1932)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A condemned murderer, in the process of being executed, relives the events that led to his being sentenced to die in the electric chair.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Vivienne Osborne, Guy Kibbee
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Prohibition ends, a beer baron sees the writing on the wall, quits the rackets, and tries to break into California society.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Helen Vinson
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

True story of the doctor who considered it was not immoral to search for a drug that would cure syphillis.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Ruth Gordon, Otto Kruger
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Despite his efforts to go straight, a young gangster keeps falling back into crime.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Lew Ayres, James Cagney, Charles Judels
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Joseph W. Randall
Marian Marsh ... Jenny Townsend
H.B. Warner ... Michael Townsend
Anthony Bushell ... Phillip Weeks
George E. Stone ... Ziggie Feinstein
Frances Starr ... Nancy 'Voorhees' Townsend
Ona Munson ... Kitty Carmody
Boris Karloff ... T. Vernon Isopod
Aline MacMahon ... Miss Taylor
Oscar Apfel ... Bernard Hinchecliffe
Purnell Pratt ... Robert French
Robert Elliott ... R. J. Brannegan
Edit

Storyline

Hinchcliffe, the ruthless publisher of a sleazy New York tabloid, is concerned that the ethical journalistic policies of City Editor Randall have caused a drop in circulation. He pressures the newsman to run more sensational stories including resurrecting the twenty year old Vorhees Murder Case. Although the perpetrator's actions were ultimately judged justifiable, and she has been subsequently living an exemplary life in anonymity, Hunchcliffe insists Randall revisit the story. Randall assigns Isopod, an alcoholic degenerate, to dig up anything lurid that he find. The unprincipled reporter fraudulently insinuates himself into the Vorhees' home masquerading as a minister and gets the expose he sought. Yellow journalism triumphs, and a decent woman's name gets dragged through the mud again... with tragic consequences. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A picture as sensational as its subject! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Caso Voorhees See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The premiere was at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York on 10 September 1931. See more »

Goofs

Eddie G. is finished pointing at Boris Karloff, who departs and tells the blonde to "get me that address". Then he places his left index upon his lips and starts pondering. His right hand is supporting his bent left arm. Picture cuts to the next frame in a long shot where Edward looks at his secretary, and he is now in reverse position, his right hand upon his lips and his left hand in his pocket. See more »

Quotes

Brannegan: For 2 cents I'd smash your face in.
Joseph W. Randall: You'd do anything for 2 cents.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Angry Screen (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Me Call You Sweetheart
(1910) (uncredited)
Music by Leo Friedman
Played on the phonograph
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Deadlier Than The Tommy Gun
2 March 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Five Star Final according to Edward G. Robinson in his memoirs was a favorite role for him. He enjoyed having to go through a film without once taking up a weapon. But Robinson did have a weapon at his disposal here, one deadlier than the tommy gun. The power of yellow journalism to ruin and destroy lives for the sake of circulation.

Circulation is down at the New York Graphic, the sleazy tabloid where Robinson is the hardboiled editor. Publisher Oscar Apfel decides to rake over a 20 year old murder, one of those where are they now pieces. A woman killed a man who got her pregnant and refused to marry her and another man stepped up to the plate and raised her baby girl as his own. The couple, H.B. Warner and Frances Starr have lived quietly and anonymously on the west side of Manhattan the daughter, Marian Marsh is about to marry Anthony Bushell the son of a manufacturer.

The poking and prying of Robinson's reporters results in tragedy. It also gives Robinson a severe attack of conscience, encouraged by his girl Friday, Aline McMahon.

Stealing the film in the small part he's in is Boris Karloff as disgraced seminarian who affects the guise of clergyman to get the story he's after. It's one of Karloff's best non-horror film roles, he's positively creepy in the part.

The reason for Karloff's disgrace is sexual one and getting Karloff's mojo going as well is Ona Munson who also has a great part as the Nellie Bly of the tabloids. She tops Karloff in what she'll do for a story.

Five Star Final is a hard hitting well acted drama that does tend to go a bit overboard into melodrama, especially when H.B. Warner and Frances Stark are on screen. It was nominated for Best Picture of the year, but lost to the immortal classic Grand Hotel. It was later remade five years later as Two Against The World with Humphrey Bogart taking the Robinson part and the locale changed from a newspaper to a radio station.

I can easily see Five Star Final being remade for this century with the protagonist being the owner/operator of an internet website. The media may have changed, but sleaze is still sleaze.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 42 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed