Scandal Sheet, 1952

Mark Chapman, the editor who plans to turn a New York newspaper into a wealth-producing machine, will sell papers with scandal, sensationalism, and gossip, and he’ll get rich doing it. His latest scheme is the Lonely Hearts Club dance where lucky couples will marry someone they’ve just met and win valuable prizes. His paper will have the exclusive and run features on the couples who get together. However, Chapman didn’t count on meeting his long-ago-abandoned wife at the dance.

Reporters on the scene, Julie Allison and Steve McCleary, find clues to the identity of the one who murdered one of the women who had attended the Lonely Hearts Club dance. When they discover they know the murderer, they fear for their lives.

The audience knows who the murderer is, but that doesn’t spoil the suspense. Since I knew the clues, I could worry about which clues they would pick up on.

Broderick Crawford played editor Mark Chapman, but I’ve also seen him as the villain in Born Yesterday, 1950. Donna Reed’s character, Julie Allison, was smart and compassionate, but the two male stars were playing arrogant oafs. Cheering for Donna Reed’s Miss Allison and booing John Derek’s McCleary was fun as they worked through their personal differences and helped each other get to the bottom of the mystery. I could see how John Derek’s McCleary was fooled by his blind trust. I think the last time I saw John Derek was as Joshua in the Ten Commandments, which released in 1956.

Biddle, the photographer who worked with them, was played by Harry Morgan who played Col. Sherman T. Potter in M*A*S*H*.

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