19 April 2013 | hitchcockthelegend
Extra extra, read all about it, this man doesn't report the news...he makes it!
This Man Is News is directed by David MacDonald and collectively written by Basil Dearden, Roger MacDougall, and Allan MacKinion. It stars Barry K. Barnes, Valerie Hobson, Alastair Sim,l Edward Lexy and Gary Marsh.
A news reporter finds he is the number one suspect in the murder of a grass when he drunkenly plays a practical joke on his editor. But that's actually the least of his problems, for he is being targeted by a criminal gang who think he knows more than he does.
Inspired by The Thin Man series of films that had began in 1934, This Man Is News is a brisk blend of British comedy/drama. It showcases some early work of British names in film and TV whilst not exactly being essential for fans of MacDonald (The Moonraker), Hobson (Blanche Fury/Kind Hearts and Coronets) and Sim (Folly To Be Wise/Scrooge).
It's very much in keeping with other British films made around this period, crafted without fuss and in quick time and featuring very correct pronunciation of the script. The backdrop is one of a moody city, where for many you know times are hard, while the characterisations are that of the "keep calm and carry on" variety, folk ready to laugh and quip in the face of adversity.
The mystery element remains strong throughout, ensuring our attention never wavers, while cast performances are always in tune with the material; especially Sim in a typically bluster strewn turn. Picture was popular enough to spawn a sequel, This Man In Paris (1939), where all the principal players returned, though that is also like this one, very hard to track down. 6/10