Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Broderick Crawford

SCANDAL SHEET (1952). Director: Phil Karlson.

"You're a neurotic screwball!"

The stockholders of the New York Express are up in arms because new editor-in-chief Mark Chapman (Broderick Crawford) has decided to increase profits and circulation by turning the paper into a vulgar tabloid. Chapman has been promised a significant bonus if he can really turn the paper around, and he's determined to publish hard-hitting stories no matter who he upsets. His protege, Steve (John Derek), wants to be just like Chapman, while Steve's girlfriend, Julie (Donna Reed), wishes he'd emulate just about anybody else. Things become complicated when a woman at a lonely hearts gathering sponsored by the Express recognizes Chapman as the husband who deserted her twenty years before, only now he has a different name ... Before long Steve is tracking down a story that Chapman wishes he could bury twenty miles deep. Scandal Sheet has an interesting premise and characters, is quite well-acted by the entire cast, but somehow it just misses the boat, perhaps because you're always one step ahead of most of the characters -- it just lacks sizzle and tension. Crawford is fine, and Henry O'Neill makes a notable impression as the alcoholic ex-reporter, Charlie, as does Rosemary DeCamp [Nora Prentiss] as Chapman's wife. Others in the cast include Kathryn Card and Ida Moore [The Egg and I], both of whom appeared on I Love Lucy. This was based on a novel by Samuel Fuller.

Verdict: Comes so close but misses. **1/2.  

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