Slander (1956 film)
|Directed by||Roy Rowland|
|Produced by||Armand Deutsch|
|Written by||Jerome Weidman|
|Music by||Jeff Alexander|
|Cinematography||Harold J. Marzorati|
|Edited by||George Boemler|
Scandal magazine editor and publisher H. R. Manley spares nobody in his efforts to sell more of his tabloid publication, "The Real Truth" (a thinly veiled substitute for Confidential Magazine) making a fortune for the past two years but appalling his mother with his methods.
Despite his success, Manley owes $100,000 to the magazine's printer. He needs a hot topic to stimulate sales and decides that a scandalous story about movie star Mary Sawyer will do the trick. Following a lead, Manley discovers that Sawyer has a damaging secret known to no one but a long-time friend, a Scott Martin.
Scott is a puppeteer who is about to get his own children's entertainment show on TV. It is the first big break of his career, an exciting time for his wife, Connie, and their son, Joey as well. Scott has a secret of his own, however; Manley discovers that he once served four years in prison for an armed robbery.
Connie already is aware of her husband's past and explains why it happened, but Manley doesn't care. If he doesn't get the damaging information about Mary Sawyer in time for the magazine's next edition, he will ruin Scott's television career by exposing his criminal past.
Her fear and unhappiness about their future being destroyed getting the better of her, Connie implores her husband that he must betray Mary, putting his own family's needs first. Scott flatly refuses and Connie leaves him. Scott becomes oblivious to Manley's threats now, his personal life already in ruins. Misery becomes tragedy when the boy, Joey, taunted at school, runs into the street and is hit by a car and killed.
The ruthless, cold-blooded Manley believes this will help the magazine's sales even more. His mother has had enough; she removes a gun from a drawer and shoots her own son. Connie comes back to Scott, apologizing for leaving him in the first place. They hope the end result will deter something like this from ever happening again, but Scott isn't confident that will be the case.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.