Unholy Partners


1h 34m 1941
Unholy Partners

Brief Synopsis

A gangster helps pay a tabloid editor's debts to gain control of the paper.

Film Details

Also Known As
New York Story
Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Nov 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,456ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

At the end of World War I, veteran Bruce Corey wants to quit his newspaper editing job at The New York Sentinel to start his own paper. With the encouragement of his secretary, Miss Cronin, Corey tries to raise $300,000 but is unsuccessful until crooked gambler Merrill Lambert offers to give him half, hoping to divert Corey from writing damaging articles about him. Lambert suggests a double or nothing bet for the other half, and Corey wins in one roll of the dice.

Even though Lambert tries to have Corey robbed to get his money back, he agrees to become an equal, but silent, partner in the strictly legitimate New York Mercury . Corey hires most of his pals from the Sentinel , including "Cronie" and army buddy Tommy Jarvis, then decides to drum up business by doing some behind-the-scenes meddling and creating provocative "shock" headlines. Despite Cronie's advice that the paper could be used for higher purposes, by the late 1920s, the Mercury 's sensational news reporting has made it very successful. One story, about the murder of showgirl Hope Keane is something that Lambert wants to stop as one of his men, Georgie Peloti, is the murderer.

At the same time, Tommy, who has changed his name because years ago his father was involved in a highly publicized murder scandal, is sick of headline chasing and tells Corey he wants to quit. Lambert goes to Corey's apartment, accompanied by aspiring actress Gail Fenton, to whom Tommy is immediately attracted. During a brief business meeting, Lambert suggests that Corey spends too much time on stories like the Keane murder and warns him not to implicate Peloti. After Gail and Lambert leave for a backstage party to which the press are not invited, Corey decides to crash the party with Tommy. When Lambert learns that Corey is at the party, which is attended by the high and mighty, he again warns him, saying "when I tell you not to print something, you don't print it." Corey disregards the warning and calls his night editor, Michael Z. Reynolds, telling him to print a headline story about a police raid on the party, then calls Inspector Brody asking him to call a raid to stop the illegal drinking. Corey then leaves to wait for the raid, but the smitten Tommy stays to hear Gail sing.

The next day, while Corey gloats, Mike reads the Sentinel and learns that Tommy was arrested in the raid. Because the story reveals his real name and delves into the family scandal, Tommy wants to leave New York, but first goes with Corey to a meeting with Lambert. Lambert is unsuccessful in his attempt to win back the paper using a crooked deck of cards, then, when Corey and Tommy are leaving, Gail arrives and acts very coldly, angering Tommy into staying with the Mercury . Corey now decides to investigate Lambert's supposedly legitimate insurance business, while at the same time backing French flyer Molyneaux's trans-Atlantic flight. He hopes to protect Tommy by sending him with Molyneaux, but Tommy has already started to investigate on his own by sneaking into Lambert's apartment.

While there, he finds a gambling marker for $50,000 from Gail's father Clyde, backed by a life insurance policy made out to Lambert. When Lambert comes home, Tommy manages to slip away, but is identified by the doorman. Tommy then goes to the Fenton apartment and tries to talk him into exposing Lambert. When Fenton learns that Gail has been seeing Lambert to help him, he tells Tommy that he will confess everything. After Tommy and Gail reveal their feelings for each other, he calls Corey, who pretends to be angry and orders him down to the paper. On the way, Tommy is kidnapped by one of Lambert's men. The next day, Corey calls Lambert and arranges a meeting. A worried Cronie runs after Corey and when she starts to cry, he finally admits his feelings. Just before he leaves, he says that they will get married the next day.

At the meeting, Lambert says that he will turn Tommy loose only if Corey signs the paper over to him. A scuffle over a gun then ensues and Lambert is killed, after which Corey forces one of Lambert's henchman to order Tommy's release. Later, a despondent Corey goes to Cronie's place and tells her about Lambert. Knowing that they cannot now marry, Cronie goes with Corey to an airfield outside New York. On the way, he dictates a letter of confession to Inspector Brody and gives her instructions on what to do for Fenton and the others who were victims of Lambert's insurance extortion scheme. At the airfield, Corey reveals that he is joining Molyneaux on the cross-Atlantic flight. She wants him to stay and fight, but Corey, afraid that it might ruin the paper, tells her that she and Tommy should take over.

After the plane takes off, Cronie throws her dictation away and returns to the Mercury to await news of the flight. Word finally comes through that Molyneaux was rescued after his plane went down, but Corey was lost in the Atlantic. When Tommy asks Cronie to recount what Corey talked about before he left, she says only that he wanted Tommy to get behind the editor's desk, and the two start to work on Corey's final story.

Film Details

Also Known As
New York Story
Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Nov 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,456ft (9 reels)

Articles

Unholy Partners -


Long-standing Warner Brothers star Edward G. Robinson agreed to take the lead in this Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production as a favor to director Mervyn LeRoy, who had put him on the road to stardom a decade earlier in the gangster classic Little Caesar (1931). Unholy Partners went into production in the summer of 1941 as The New York Story, a working title that anticipates such post-Kefauver Commission exposés as The Miami Story (1954), The Phenix City Story (1955), and Chicago Confidential (1957). Scripted by three men with solid roots in two-fisted tales of criminals and journalists - Earl Baldwin (Brother Orchid [1940]), Bartlett Cormack (a former playwright whose 1927 Broadway hit, The Racket, had given Robinson his first gangster role and pointed him towards Little Caesar), and Lesser Samuels (a former reporter who later contributed to Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole [1951]) - Unholy Partners casts Robinson as a World War I veteran who goes into the newspaper business with gambler Edward Arnold only to realize, all too late that, a condition of the tabloid's funding requires him to turn a blind eye to his silent partner's underworld activities. Robinson thought little of this MGM loan-out or even of his subsequent work back at Warners. More interested in rapidly-developing global events that would by the end of the year push America into World War II, the actor donated $100,000 from his paycheck for his next film, Larceny, Inc. (1942), to the U.S.O.

By Richard Harland Smith
Unholy Partners -

Unholy Partners -

Long-standing Warner Brothers star Edward G. Robinson agreed to take the lead in this Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production as a favor to director Mervyn LeRoy, who had put him on the road to stardom a decade earlier in the gangster classic Little Caesar (1931). Unholy Partners went into production in the summer of 1941 as The New York Story, a working title that anticipates such post-Kefauver Commission exposés as The Miami Story (1954), The Phenix City Story (1955), and Chicago Confidential (1957). Scripted by three men with solid roots in two-fisted tales of criminals and journalists - Earl Baldwin (Brother Orchid [1940]), Bartlett Cormack (a former playwright whose 1927 Broadway hit, The Racket, had given Robinson his first gangster role and pointed him towards Little Caesar), and Lesser Samuels (a former reporter who later contributed to Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole [1951]) - Unholy Partners casts Robinson as a World War I veteran who goes into the newspaper business with gambler Edward Arnold only to realize, all too late that, a condition of the tabloid's funding requires him to turn a blind eye to his silent partner's underworld activities. Robinson thought little of this MGM loan-out or even of his subsequent work back at Warners. More interested in rapidly-developing global events that would by the end of the year push America into World War II, the actor donated $100,000 from his paycheck for his next film, Larceny, Inc. (1942), to the U.S.O. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's working titles were New York Story and The New York Story. The Daily Variety review for the Glendale, CA press preview of the film lists a running time of 108 minutes, but all other reviews list a running time of 94 minutes. Although the CBCS credits actor Charles Cane with the role of "Inspector Brody," the role was actually played by Robert Homans. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, William T. Orr was borrowed from Warner Bros. for the film and George Barnes was borrowed from David O. Selznick's company. A news item in Hollywood Reporter also noted that singer Connie Russell was to appear in the picture, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.