Scandal Sheet is not a great movie, but it's a gripping, taut little noir-ish thriller that's well worth a viewing. Although certain aspects of the film have inevitably dated with the passing of time, one important aspect actually makes the film feel more current than it did at the time of its release, namely the "cheapening" of journalism and the lead character's mantra that sensationalized tabloid journalism that appeals to base instincts and sells more papers is more important than responsible reporting of actual news. Scandal's screenplay also benefits from some crackerjack dialogue, much of it in the familiar patois of both noir films and newspaper flicks. Character motivation is sometimes a bit unrealistic -- but it's set up so that it at least makes sense within the parameters of the story being told. Scandal also boasts some exceptional performances by Broderick Crawford and, of all people, John Derek, as well as very able support from Donna Reed and Rosemary de Camp, and a sterling turn from Henry O'Neill. Of equal importance, Scandal has director Phil Karlson operating in top form, aided by the expert lensing of Burnett Guffey. The two work together like a well-oiled machine, creating an atmospheric, exciting murder tale that's loads of fun.
by Craig Butler review