21 August 2013 | bkoganbing
The big scoop
In the Citadel Film series book on the Films Of Frank Capra, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. wrote a letter to the editor saying that while he has enjoyed the great body of Capra work this film The Power Of The Press was not one that rated high in his or Capra's career. I'd tend to agree with that assessment.
Nevertheless The Power Of The Press has a certain charm to it and certainly was worth preserving. Fairbanks really carries this film as a charming if bumptious and slightly obnoxious cub reporter looking for a big scoop. He was all of 19 years old when he did this film.
Fairbanks is hanging around the city room hoping to get a big assignment and make his mark when word comes across that the District Attorney was murdered in his apartment. No one else is around so editor Robert Edeson sends Fairbanks who does get a big scoop when he finds the daughter of the opposition candidate Jobyna Ralston fleeing the scene. It is a big scoop, but it was carefully contrived to shield the real murderer and ruin Jobyna's father at the same time.
The key to all of this is Mildred Harris best known for being one of Charlie Chaplin's wives. Watching Mildred portray your typical 20s flapper make me realize why she got Charlie's mojo going. She really does steal the film whenever she's on screen.
The Power Of The Press is minor league Frank Capra, but still holds up well as entertainment.