Of days when news gatherers worked city rooms in
shirtsleeve and had lunch out of pails, this was another of talkers to show the
print game as hard-bitten and not for softies. It was known within a season of
sound that reporterswere a cynical lot that breathed black humor and
round-clock lifestyle. In all of precode, I don't recall seeing one of them
sleep. Copy is a two-reeler to encapsulate what was already a sub-genre, and
what's the wonder, as transplanted news scribes were already taking charge of
scenario departments all over lotus land. These imports to Hollywood brought urban awareness to make
silent scribes look anemic. A famous wire sent by Herman Mankiewicz promised
east coast peers of easy filmworld pickings and competition limited to
"idiots," that summing up his and other newcomer's stance re colleagues
at the studios. Copy reflects casual attitude toward matters most took serious,
news staff waiting for a senator to "croak" so they can get his obit
in the morning edition, etc. Lead scribbler (Roscoe Karns) is brought up short by
family crisis, sentiment winning out in Hollywood,
if not at press rooms in New York.
Goose to Copy narrative turns on General Slocum-like sinking of a ferry boat
filled with mothers and offspring. Is editor Karns' wife and child among them?
He and Copy cast do about face on wisecracking when it looks that way, so maybe
ink slingers are human after all. Copy is among Warner Archives' Classic Shorts
From The Dream Factory --- Volume Two.