Tuesday 13 January 1998
Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's rip-roaring, no-holds-barred, fireball farce requires a huge cast. Thanks to a little judicious pruning, director Sam Mendes brings home the bacon with 19 crackerjack actors going hell- for-leather across Mark Thompson's tremendously atmospheric set of a Chicago newsroom in the good old, bad old days of 1928. Alun Armstrong gives a monumental, hilarious performance as the gimlet-eyed editor of The Examiner, who will stop at nothing in pursuit of the scoop of the decade when his chief reporter (Griff Rhys Jones) bags an escaped convict bound for the hangman's noose. But everywhere you look there are unexpected glories. Ian Bartholomew swings between puffed-up swagger and spineless jibbering as the sleazy sheriff up to his neck in political corruption; Lizzy McInerney is a broad but touching broad, and gangling Adam Godley shines as a hygiene- obsessed hack with a penchant for poetry. Enjoy. David Benedict
Life & Style blogs
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PlayStation Network still partly down after hack, but fixes in place
Anti-smoking adverts accused of 'scaremongering'
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Douglas Carswell tells Ukip to stop blaming foreigners as youth poll shows Nigel Farage is even less popular than Nick Clegg
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
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