Edward G. Robinson's tabloid editor has a crisis of conscience when his publisher demands he resurrect a 20-year old sex and murder scandal as a circulation stunt. His self-loathing battles his cynicism after he sends a failed divinity student (played by Boris Karloff one of his last roles before Frankenstein) to callously wreck the lives of a happy family. Like internet trolls, the paper's staff is confident in their anonymity, until a tragedy forces them to face their sins. Warner Brothers' brash social issue films shared a fast-talking energy with their gangster movies. Five Star Final is anchored by Robinson's simmering fury and his electrifying confrontation with a wronged victim, played by starlet Marian Marsh.