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Sued for Libel (1939)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 27 October 1939 (USA)
The trial of Albert Pomeroy on the charge of murdering Edward Webster,arouses interest because Webster's widow, Muriel insists Pomeroy is innocent. Meanwhile, back to radio station NYEB, ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay) (as Jerry Cady)
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Complete credited cast:
Maggie Shane
Mrs. Muriel Webster
Albert Pomeroy
Smiley Dugan
District Attorney Willard Corbin
David Hastings
Jerome Walsh
Roy Gordon ...
Colonel Jasper White
Chang Howe
Judge Samuel Clark
Vinton Hayworth ...
Dr. James L. Bailer (as Jack Arnold)
Leona Roberts ...
Mrs. Trent


The trial of Albert Pomeroy on the charge of murdering Edward Webster,arouses interest because Webster's widow, Muriel insists Pomeroy is innocent. Meanwhile, back to radio station NYEB, owned by the Evening Bulletin, Steve Lonegan waits for a flash from Smiley Dugan so he can broadcast the verdict---But Dugan leaves and asks reporter Maggie Dugan to tip him off it something happens...and something happens when the jury comes in unexpectedly,and this jury comes in with a "Not Guilty" verdict. But fun-loving Maggie, as a gag, phones Smiley and tells him Pomeroy was found guilty, and unreliable Smiley relays this false information to Lonegan who tells a waiting world that Pomeroy was found guilty, signs off the air, locks up the station and goes home...and leaves the station wide open for a million-dollar libel suit. Lonegan and Colonel White decide that the only out from paying Pomeroy a million bucks in a libel-suit is to dig up something on Pomeroy that will force him to drop the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

widow | libel suit | jury | verdict | trial | See All (47) »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Difamación  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Steve Lonegan: Colonel, a man never lived who didn't do something he wouldn't want in a newspaper. I'm going back into Pomeroy's private life. I'll get something on him, even if it's nothing worse than a blonde. And when I do, I'll threaten to plaster it over that front page unless he withdraws that suit.
Colonel Jasper White: But, Steve, that's blackmail!
Steve Lonegan: Sure it is. Do you mind?
Colonel Jasper White: I love it.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on pieces of paper being read over by someone, with the reader's hands included in the frame. See more »


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played by the radio station band for the wedding re-enactment
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User Reviews

typical '40s B
2 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Kent Taylor, Linda Hayes, Lilian Bond, and Morgan Conway star in "Sued for Libel," another misnamed film, this one from 1939. There as a film starring Steve Cochran called "Slander" which should have been called "Libel," and now this one, which should have been called "Sued for Slander." Slander is the spoken word, libel is the print. One would think Hollywood would be more familiar with these terms.

The film opens with Albert Pomeroy (Conway) on trial for murdering Edward Webster, his business partner. Webster's widow is standing behind him, swearing that he's innocent.

The reporters are on hand waiting for the verdict, but the reporter who will phone the radio station that is re-enacting the trial, Smiley Dugan (Richard Lane) steps out for lunch. He asks another reporter, Maggie (Hayes) to call the station if a verdict comes in. Unfortunately for the station and the man who will announce the verdict, Steve Lonegan (Taylor), Smiley has been harassing Maggie all day. So when the verdict of not guilty comes in, she tells Steve it's guilty in order to get back at Smiley. The station is then wide open for a -- SLANDER -- suit.

Lonegan figures if they can get something on Pomeroy, maybe an old crime he was never charged with or something, they can get off the hook. He hones in on the suicide of a young woman a few years back.

A neat mystery, with rapid-fire dialogue, and a few magic tricks done by Lonegan, a magician on the side. Certainly not as bad as has been described in a couple of reviews here. Just the title is all wrong.

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