Getting the newspaper out of my system.

“Um…you have problems” was the response I got from my niece not long ago as I remarked favorably to a newspaper montage in an old movie, “that is just outstanding.”  Staring at me as if I had several heads she reminded me, “that was a newspaper!” “No,” I replied, “that wasn’t just a newspaper.  Newspapers were used in all manner of ways in classic film, as carefully crafted narrative tools…”  But it was too late.  Not only had I lost her, she was convinced I was out of my mind – or am, actually.  I attempted to pick up our conversation, but couldn’t remember what we were talking about before the montage came on, a conversation that had nothing to do with the movie, which was simply on as background noise.  Oh well.

So…perhaps I do have problems with newspapers in the movies, visceral reactions I have no control over.  I just love them – as props, as livelihood, as script and story enhancers – whatever! You just can’t beat ’em.  And those newspaper people!  You know the ones – they spit out snappy dialogue and get to the heart of whatever matter’s at hand with style.  I’m sure the entire world, excepting my niece, agrees with me so I’ve nothing to apologize for, but perhaps I do need to get them out of my system.  Hence this post.   Since I couldn’t find clips of newspaper montages here’s a wall dedicated to the newspaper in classic film, cartoons and television.  That’s all.  Just for fun and/or until I find a therapist.


31 thoughts

  1. I love these, too! THE THIN MAN series has some of my favorites, but I just saw some great ones in SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS when I reviewed it! In that film they’re extra special because they are also vital to the plot! I wish movies had newspaper montages now…but I suppose that era has passed.

  2. Love these ! I always enjoy looking out for newspapers in films.
    (shouts to husband: “See! it’s not just me!!”)

  3. Aurora, this was excellent, well-researched and lots of fun to peruse. I thought of two more movies where I can see newspapers make a good appearance. “Bye Bye Birdie” and one of my favorite pre-code films, “Five Star Final” with Edward G. Robinson and Aline MacMahon. Loved your idea! 🙂

  4. This is fantastic! Indeed, you are not alone. I’m deeply saddened by the thought of such a foundation going under and being squashed by the digital world. And all because of the newspaper world I learned to love in the movies. It may not have been entirely realistic, but that snappy patter and machine gun delivery characteristic of newsies in classic film brings such magic to that world. I love the romance of it all! (Hence my nod to His Girl Friday) 😀

  5. Ah, these images have made me nostalgic and a little sad, considering the state of the press these days. I used to work on a weekly newspaper and it was manic at times. The editor was someone who could have been plucked out of a 1930s screwball comedy.

    This is a wonderful image collection you have curated, Aurora.

  6. Wonderful!! And the newspapers of yore were so w-I-d-e compared to today! I must confess that I started reading the paper on the Interwebs every day. Yes, I’m saving a few trees, and it’s more convenient at work to just use my phone, but……it’s not the same!

  7. I also love montages with newspapers in classic movies, specially the ones in Frank Capra’s movies. The sensation of news coming hot off the press is great on the screen! I hope someday your niece understands this (or both you and me become less crazy about th montages).
    I loved the “Keaton Insane” headline!

  8. Wonderful wonderful montage! I can think of so many newspaper scenes, but you’ve pretty much covered them all! My favorite scene not mentioned here is the series of headlines in different languages at the end of The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, announcing Betty Hutton’s remarkable achievement.

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