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Slander (1957)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 204 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

Steve Cochran plays the slick, debonair owner of a notorious gossip magazine who is anxious to break a big scandal to reverse a recent decline in sales. He zeroes in on children's ... See full summary »

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Title: Slander (1957)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Scott Ethan Martin
...
Connie Martin
Steve Cochran ...
H.R. Manley
Marjorie Rambeau ...
Mrs. Manley
Richard Eyer ...
Joey Martin
...
Seth Jackson
Philip Coolidge ...
Homer Crowley
...
Mrs. Doyle
Lewis Martin ...
Charles Orrin Sterling
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Storyline

Steve Cochran plays the slick, debonair owner of a notorious gossip magazine who is anxious to break a big scandal to reverse a recent decline in sales. He zeroes in on children's entertainer Van Johnson, a decent, stand-up guy who nonetheless has a secret in his past which would most likely end his suddenly flourishing television career if found out. Johnson can save himself and his wife Ann Blyth and son from disrepute if he "trades" Cochran damaging information he has about a popular movie actress he knew while growing up in a tough neighborhood years ago. Does he save himself and let her career be sacrificed? His decision leads to tragedy. Written by q pid

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 January 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Public Figure  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Puppets in movie were designed and operated (except in long shots) by Bil and Cora Baird, who were also responsible for the very similar-looking puppets in The Lonely Goatherd number in The Sound Of Music. See more »

Goofs

Although the movie is titled Slander, there is no evidence that any of the characters were actually a victim of that crime, which refers to a malicious false statement. From all evidence, all of the stories, particularly that of the hero, presented in the scandal magazine were true. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over gossip magazines coming towards the camera. When they are gone, the remaining credits are shown in a puddle of black ink. See more »

Connections

Remake of Studio One in Hollywood: A Public Figure (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strictly B but entertaining
9 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A tabloid magazine threatens to ruin a television performer's career in "Slander," a 1956 film starring Van Johnson, Steve Cochran, Ann Blyth and Marjorie Rambeau.

Well, first of all, it should have been called "Libel" which refers to the printed word; slander refers to the spoken. You'd think after years of dealing with both, someone at MGM would have known the difference.

Steve Cochran plays the head of this trash magazine, a type of periodical nowadays so common one doesn't even blink. In the film, his magazine was the pioneer, probably modeled after the real-life "Confidential." As in the film, a host of me-toos followed - in the '50s, this included "Whisper" and "Quick" magazines. These mags released Rory Calhoun's criminal record, accused Lisabeth Scott of using the services of call girls, that sort of thing. Something about the black and white format of the early tabloids made them even sleazier than "The Enquirer" types today, which deal mostly with gossip, hospital records sold to them by the hospital staff, and outing of celebrities. Eventually celebrities fought back by breaking their news first on talk shows.

H.R. Manley (Cochran) believes that everybody has some dirt in their past, and he's after a huge female film star. He knows that a children's TV performer, Scott Martin (Johnson) grew up with her and knows about a problem in her past. He finds out that Martin himself spent four years in prison for armed robbery and intends to print that story and ruin his career if Martin doesn't tell him what happened to his childhood friend. Does he save himself and let her career be sacrificed? His decision leads to tragedy.

Cochran is cold as ice as Manley and handsome in a George Clooney-Tyrone Power kind of way. His facial expression never changes, nor does his smooth voice. He's a man with a dead soul. His mother, played by Marjorie Rambeau, is against what he does to make a living. Rambeau, a favorite actress of mine, is excellent. Van Johnson and Ann Blyth are the Martins; Blyth is really more suited for society women - she's very pretty and also not the warmest person to stand before a camera. But she does a good job, as does Johnson, who is very well cast as a family man and children's entertainer.

The story is dramatized in a somewhat extreme way. It will definitely hold your interest, though the ending could have been better.


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