Review: “The Finger Points” (1931), Starring Richard Barthelmess, Fay Wray, And Clark Gable; Warner Archive Collection DVD by Fred Blosser

  • CinemaRetro
Review: “The Finger Points” (1931), Starring Richard Barthelmess, Fay Wray, And Clark Gable; Warner Archive Collection DVD by Fred Blosser
By Fred Blosser

Although largely forgotten today, Richard Barthelmess was a popular star in silent movies and the early sound era, often cast as characters who embodied small-town American values of modesty and integrity. In “The Finger Points,” a 1931 crime melodrama from First National and Vitaphone, Barthelmess’ Breckenridge Lee relocates from Savannah, Ga., to a big city up north. A reporter, Lee carries a letter of recommendation from his former editor. Impressed by the referral and Lee’s own soft-spoken earnestness, the publisher of the city’s influential morning newspaper, “The Press,” gives him a job and then leaves him to fend for himself on a starting salary of $39 per week, minus $4 for expenses. He’s hardly at his desk for a day before the publisher exhorts the newsroom to “make a fight of it” against the racketeers who infest the city. Jaded reporter Breezy (Regis Toomey) dismisses the pep
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