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-30-

-30-(1959)

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Crying Boy

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NOTES

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Producer-director-actor Jack Webb's trademark showing "Mark VII Limited" appears after the Warner Bros. logo and before the onscreen title card. Although the word, "Limited," is often abbreviated in the logo, in this instance the word is spelled out. The opening and closing onscreen cast credits differ in order, and several actors listed in the opening do not appear in the closing credits. The closing credits list character names.
       Studio press sheets found in the copyright file and a cast and crew sheet found in the file for the film at the AMPAS Library state that the name of the character played by Louise Lorimer was "Bernice Valentine." However, in the film and in the onscreen credits the character is called "Lady Wilson." Although studio press notes reported that -30- marked the feature film debut of Nancy Valentine, who portrayed "Jan Price" in the film, the actress had appeared in many films between 1949 and 1953.
       After the closing credits, a written statement reads: "-30-means THE END." As noted in studio production materials,-30-, which is sometimes referred to as a "30 dash," "is a time-honored journalism symbol denoting the end of the story." Although there are several theories as to the origination of the symbol, some sources state that it was created by telegraph operators, who used one "X" to denote the end of a sentence, "XX" to denote end of paragraph and "XXX" to mark the end of a story.
       A subplot in the film involving a three-year-old girl who falls into a storm drain was probably inspired by the 1949 death of three-year-old Southern California girl Kathy Fiscus, who fell into a pipe sunk into an abandoned oil field and died before help could reach her. The effort to rescue her was one of the first of such tragedies to be televised live. For more information about her story, see the entries for two 1951 films, Ace in the Hole and The Well (above and below).
       Even though a December 1959 American Cinematographer article stated that -30- was shot on a Warner Bros. sound stage, all Hollywood Reporter production charts reported that it was shot at Republic Studios. The American Cinematographer article reported that a single interior set, approximately 200 by 60 feet, was built to replicate the actual city room of the Los Angeles Examiner. As the film's story takes place during one night shift, approximately 3:00 p.m. to midnight, lighting was used "to create visually the progression of time from dusk to dawn."
       Only two scenes occur outside the city room: a brief scene in which Webb as "Sam Gatlin" climbs the stairs to the city room and a longer sequence during which Sam looks out his office window to see his wife leaving a telephone booth across the street.
       Several short, generally comedic subplots appear in the film, among them, an over-eager reporter giving an influential man and his wife a tour of the newspaper; a misunderstanding between "Jim Bathgate" and "Earl Collins" over the outcome of the betting pool; and several short sequences showcasing various staff members: a moody retouch artist, two copy boys, and a religion/real estate editor who wants to report on the weather and asks for the job title of "Editor of Heaven and Earth." According to the American Cinematographer article, Webb, who customarily completed principal photography of his films ahead of schedule, finished -30- within twelve of the eighteen days he had planned.