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 ...
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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
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 »
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 »
Though Van Johnson is the subject of the Slander, the driving force behind this film is Steve Cochran as the cynical publisher of a supermarket tabloid magazine. He's one scary dude who has no feelings and no one can reach him, not even his mother Marjorie Rambeau.
Back in 1957 Confidential Magazine which was the prototype of things like the National Enquirer of today was publishing all kinds of exposes on celebrities. Cochran's rag is also looking to do an expose on Van Johnson who is a newly popular host of a kid's show. Back during the Depression he committed a holdup and did his time and Cochran wants an to expose him. Cochran though will back off if he will give him some dirt on another girl who grew up on his block who became a big movie star.
Cochran is such a rat that he approaches Johnson through his wife Ann Blyth. This raises all kinds of issues in their marriage.
Slander also makes some subtle references to the tactics of the House Un American Activities Committee and how they would 'trade up' with immunity if someone would give them a bigger prize.
Johnson and Blyth turn in some good performances, but it's really Cochran you have to watch. He will thoroughly creep you out.
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