The Finger Points (1931) **


Effectively doomy pre-Code crime meller, with Fay Wray cast intriguingly against type as "Marcia Collins, queen of the sob sisters and the best-looking gal in the newspaper business".
Other attractions, should you need any: Clark Gable, moonlighting at Warners in his nasty gangster phase, the same year he socked Barbara Stanwyck in Night Nurse; Richard Barthelmess, silent star who drifted away in the talkies; Regis Toomey chewing gum, and a typical torn-from-the-headlines Warners scenario by the great W.R. Burnett, with dialogue by Lost Generationer (and Mr Fay Wray) John Monk Saunders.
The plot is the Road to Ruin, with gangsters and Front Page hacks in their usual fatal embrace; Barthelmess plays his customary wet sap who becomes a reporter, exposes a bunch of gangsters, gets beaten senseless, takes a pay-off and gets sucked into a world of corruption. Gable wears a bowler hat and spats. Fay looks concerned and occasionally pretends to use a typewriter.