|Scandal Sheet (1952)
Run time: Passed 82 min
Genres: Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
Director: Phil Karlson
Writers: Ted Sherdeman, Eugene Ling
Stars: John Derek, Donna Reed, Broderick Crawford
When newspaper editor Crawford accidentally kills his ex-wife, he finds his ace reporter investigating the case and beginning to put things together. What to do as the noose tightens?
Release Date: 16 January 1952 (USA)
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Gripping storyline fueled by some heavy duty irony. Crawford plays a ruthless tabloid newspaper editor who has the tables turned on him when he commits a crime, then finds himself having to encourage his top reporter to get to the bottom of the story, in order to deflect suspicion. Top notch suspense as Crawford gambles that he can keep his cool and get away with it, even as the walls close in and the odds look worse and worse. The dialogue is typical Samuel Fuller, (he wrote the novel upon which the film was based) colorfully gritty but at times head-scratchingly obtuse. Crawford is at his no-nonsense, take no prisoners, mince-no-words best, and able support from a young John Derek and Donna Reed (smoking cigarettes and a little less squeaky clean than usual). Good stuff.
As great a Film Noir as there is! I LOVE Film Noir and often search them out by auditioning titles. And with one like "Scandal Sheet", what else could it be? Fronted by Broderick Crawford and co-starring Donna Reed and John Dereck with Rosemary DeCamp and Harry Morgan, the cast is as first rate as any Film Noir could hope for. It even has Columbia's master (future) Oscar Winning B&W cinematographer Burnett Guffey on board for lots of wonderful Noir shots. One more "Big Name" anywhere would have ruined it! And there's a GREAT turn by the much underrated Henry O'Neil as Charlie Barnes, a washed up drunk of a former great newspaper man. His role is small but by far the most important. Wow. Nothing more satisfying than a great Film Noir with all the clichés in tact and WORKING FOR the picture instead of against it. You absolutely know how it will end up, but there's still lots of high powered tension. And at about 80 minutes, it doesn't feature any unnecessary padding. Low budget pictures never do and it only makes them tighter. I caught it on TCM. Keep an eye out for it. A truly satisfying Film Noir in all respects! There's even a comical (I'm convinced it was definitely meant to be) bit in the opening scene with Derek pretending to be a cop and doing a "Joe Friday" in telling a distraught woman "I know it's rough lady, but I only want the facts!" Moments later in walks Harry "Bill Gannon" Morgan! A little icing before you even have at the cake. As the headlines in the picture itself might have said in a self review: Terrific! Fantstic! A MUST SEE!
Remarkably solid little crime/actioner. Derek is a weasely but apparently attractive young reporter for a city paper. He’s convinced that his boss and mentor, ballsy editor Crawford, is a swell guy who can teach him the business, but he doesn’t know that he’s also a murderer, hiding a previous marriage through his crime. When the reporter initiates a sensational search for the identity of the killer, he comes closer to the truth, but places others in danger as he unwittingly informs the murderer of his every step by telegram and phone.
Solid suspense, sparse action, good script make for a B++ film.
Watch Crawford sweat this one out! Great fun with Broderick Crawford as managing editor of a "Scandal Sheet" newspaper, with John Derek and Donna Reed on staff as reporters. The film uses the technique of showing the murderer's identity as the crime is committed (it's editor Crawford); then we watch him squirm as the reporter hero (Derek) and heroine (Reed) try to identify the killer and cover the story.
Mr. Crawford must give the "Lonely Heart Killer" big coverage in his tabloid newspaper, or risk suspicion. When a possible witness turns up, things get complicated. Henry O'Neill is great as a washed-up old drunk who used to work for Crawford's newspaper. The film has a great style beautiful black and white photography directed by Phil Karlson. Recommended viewing!
******** Scandal Sheet (1952) Phil Karlson ~ Broderick Crawford, John Derek, Donna Reed