13 July 2012 | bkoganbing
In this day and age where the print media is struggling to survive back in 1886 when this story takes place New York had something like 20 papers all fighting for circulation. A lot of them came and went with great rapidity. Many were backed by the political parties of the day and they sustained them.
Park Row is the street to the east of New York City's City Hall and it only runs three short blocks. But back in 1886 several papers of the tabloid variety had their offices and printing establishments there. This film Park Row is the story of two of them where the feuding got downright personal.
Mary Hackett who is a real queen of mean fires a whole bunch of her staff over editorial policy disagreement including Gene Evans who takes the fired workers and starts his own tabloid. He gets a super big break when George O'Hanlon playing the legendary Steve Brodie makes his famous dive off the Brooklyn Bridge and Evans gets the bead on the story first. After that Hackett fights and fights real dirty. She especially doesn't like the fact that Evans has spurned her.
Samuel Fuller directed this admirable B film with a cast of no real names, but that in itself gives it a realistic look. That look is at an era that is gone, but not forgotten. By the way another look at this same era can be seen in the film Newsies which is currently on Broadway now.
Still without the singing and dancing of Newsies, I think Park Row will give you an idea of what was going on during those times.