By Marcus Pan
From the lost noir category of
Dark Sky Films new releases, Wet Asphalt portrays the story of
prison releasee Greg Bachmann (Horst Buchholz). An early release prompted by
Cesar Boyd (Martin Held), mogul oldster reporter of the day, places Bachmann as
personal assistant and helpful reporter protégé to the older
mogul. During the course of his work, in an effort to build sensationalism for
his stories, Boyd makes the grave error of developing a story not from a news
source, but his mind.
The result resembles something youd see during the
Telephone Game where youd tell a story at one end of a chain of
people and by the time it reaches the others at the end of the line its
been extremely exaggerated. The creation of this story, which ends up in a
Parisian newspaper on the weekend, builds to include other reporters picking up
the idea. This leads other reporters to add new details, to the point where the
governments of multiple nations are attempting to safeguard against a possible
During the course of young Gregs investigation into
this story he helped Boyd write up, he is lead to the discovery of the
storys initial fabrication. Being an honest type, the idea of concocting
a story for mere sensationalism and passing it off as news terribly
upsets Bachmann. Watching the story take on a life of its own, build to a
crescendo and result in people being hurt through riots and demonstrations,
with Boyd not showing the least bit of remorse for it, sends Bachman over the
edge. The result is his quest to expose the fallacy of the story.
The movie brings forward many ideas and questions concerning
media and its practices and those morals still stand and should be practiced as
much today as it was back when this movie came out 1958. That helps the
movie remain timeless, as it echoes an ideal that has been wrestled with for
many years and since newsmen have begun to write about the world at large.
The audio track was a bit off, but this is to be expected
when youre dealing with a film nearly a half century old. Other than
that, the movie stands as a good example of the genre and asks some very
important questions about truthfulness in news media and sources. Somebody send
a copy of this to CNN and all the other news programs as a reminder.
Dark Sky Films
Post: MPI Media Group, 16101 S 108th Ave., Orland Park, IL, 60467,
Click to Buy!