Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Anyone who thinks that tabloid journalism is an aberration of the 1980s should take a look at the 1956 release Slander. The film stars Van Johnson as a happily married, well respected TV kiddie show host who becomes the subject of an expose' from a Confidential style magazine. The publisher (Steve Cochran) has no qualms about ruining lives so long as it boosts circulation; nor is he concerned about libel suits, since everything he prints is a matter of record. The exposure of Johnson's minor-league criminal past leads indirectly to the death of his young son. But it isn't Johnson who metes out retribution to the publisher; instead, the avenging angel is the publisher's mother (Marjorie Rambeau), who kills her son rather than allow him to ruin more lives. Sincerely motivated, Slander is nonetheless as cheap and tawdry as the magazines it attacks.
TV-show-host, publisher, tabloid, yellow-journalism, blackmail, gossip, ruthlessness, scandal, slander, death, son, mother, murder, robbery