For me, Samuel Fuller’s Park Row, a love letter to American journalism and free press, isn’t just a classic film; it’s a manifesto on how to be a journalist. No glamour, all grit. No time for play, just the facts. You can feel the rumble of the printing press just thinking about this movie.
Yesterday, I completed a draft of an essay on the recent attacks to discredit our free press with how I see Park Row‘s relevance. It’s now up for the price of a coffee here. Below, are some teaser paragraphs:
Thus far into his Presidency, he has lambasted the free press at every turn, holding few and fewer conferences, encouraging spokespeople to follow suit with direct hostility and falsehoods and even propping up conspiracy driven madmen/snake oil salesmen like Sean Hannity and Alex Jones – who are, most certainly, not “journalists”.
Samuel Fuller’s Park Row, about the grit and elbow grease days of 1880s American Newspapermen, is an incredible independent ode to hard work and DIY ingenuity, not to mention idealism, sky-high imagination and the importance of a free and open press to any society. This was a passion project if ever there was one, showing the conflict and care, the pride and power, the longing and love of old-fashioned off the cuff/covered in ink journalism.
This future gaze sets the movie on a progressive path, towards an America whose appreciation for a free press may dip and rise at any given time or era, but will always be around for when and if we need it. And we need it.
I urge everyone to rent the film on Amazon Prime. It may be black and white, but it moves and is moving. It may be old, but its theme is timeless.
Read our editorial on taking down my “They Stood Once” interview, too. Lots to think about today!