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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "A Public Figure" or "Pattern of Malice")


directed by Roy Rowland
USA 1957


A curious period piece not without interest, Slander was made in the heyday of guttersnipe periodicals like "Confidential," that ruined show-biz careers and blackmailed victims into spilling dirt on bigger prey. Steve Cochran portrays the oily gossip publisher, a bachelor with a strangely solicitous relationship with his alcoholic mother (Marjorie Rambeau). In trying to dig up the goods on a beloved Broadway star, he zeros in on Van Johnson as a boyhood pal, a third-rate puppeteer who has finally got his big break in the new medium of television. Alas, the puppeteer once served four years in the hoosegow for armed robbery, despite the fact that he's now a devoted family man with wife (Ann Blyth) and son (Richard Eyer) in tow. Van Johnson refuses to knuckle under to the blackmail demands, and much melodrama ensues. Today, with a no-holds-barred press with almost non-existent restraints when it comes to public figures, Slander looks a bit quaint. But in the 50s, these tactics -- which probably wouldn't have been tolerated except for the parallel phenomenon of McCarthyism -- were seen as a deadly threat to the studios and their stars.

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar for located HERE


Theatrical Release: 16 January 1957 (New York City, NY)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:21:06

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.80 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Theatrical trailer (3:00)

DVD Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Keep case

Chapters 23





Slander is a melodrama / moral story exposure of the tabloid industry that is somewhat dated in this TMZ age, but even an earlier pre-code with Edward G. Robinson Five Star Final hit it harder dealing with "dirty" journalism. Steve Cochran gives a standout performance as a gossip publisher breaking the happy marriage of an ex-child star (Ann Blyth) and her puppeteer husband with a criminal past (Van Johnson). The MGM picture should be technically titled Libel since it has to do with a written accusations and not spoken - the studio would use that title 2 years later for a British courtroom drama (Libel) with Dirk Bogarde and Olivia de Havilland.

The made-on-demand disc from Warner Archive looks decent, with good contrast and in proper aspect ratio. There are some marks, including cue marks, but they are not intrusive and overall anamorphic presentation looks quite nice with a healthy amount of grain. A 3-minute trailer is available as an extra and the film gets 23 chapters. We can recommend this curious melodrama with a hint of noir for the excellent performance from Steve Cochran.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Region 0 - NTSC




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