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He is a New York reporter with the Morning Star newspaper.He believes that Hazel's valiant struggle concerning her impending death is just the type of story he needs to resurrect his name within reporting circles after a recent story he wrote led to scandal and a major demotion at the newspaper.As she attends wrestling matches and posh supper clubs, a photographer is always on hand to capture her last fleeting earthly enjoyments.At one event, she passes out while being honored--she's had too much to drink, but obviously everyone thinks it's because of her condition--and Oliver, whom Wallace describes as "a birdbrain with a headline for a heart," lets his true intentions be known in one of the film's most famous quotes: "Doctor, I want to know the worst, and don't spare our feelings. " What stands out here is just how scathing Hecht's script is when it comes to satirizing the muckraking, tragedy-mongering tendencies of newspapers and the disingenuous sympathy of their readers, who delusionally believe--as Oliver puts it--that their "phony hearts" are "dripping with the milk of human kindness." When, in actuality, of course, they just want to gawk and gossip and revel in another's misfortune.Still, it looks lovely in 30s Technicolor A welcome, if slight, return from this 30s near-classic.
When Hazel arrives in New York--to a ticker-tape parade and her name spelled out in clouds by a skywriter--she's the toast of the town, celebrated for her "heroic smile in the face of death." People ooh and aah and give her sad, puppy-dog expressions.Instead, they find the cleanest prints they can, leaving scratches and specks "as is" but taking care to fix color and tonality issues, which are much easier to deal with.So yes, you can expect some mild, age- related print issues, but nothing terribly distracting--no heavy warpage, brightness fluctuations, tears, etc.It's a sad story, and not one that you'd think would inspire one of the great screwball comedies of the 1930s, but that's exactly what happened.Famed screenwriter Ben Hecht, best known at the time for Underworld and Scarface--although he would go on to have a hand in many classics, including Some Like It Hot and Spellbound--took inspiration from the relatively recent scandal and, adapting a short story by James H.