Scandal Sheet (1952) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • The editor of an exploitation newspaper commits a murder and assigns his protégé to investigate hoping to divert attention away from himself.

  • The editor of a New York exploitation newspaper meets the wife he had abandoned years ago, while using another name, at a Lonely Hearts ball sponsored by his newspaper. She threatens to expose him as a wife-deserter, wife-beater and an impostor, and, in anger, he pushes her and accidentally kills her. Later, when her body is found, he assigns his protégé reporter to the story, as a good, exploitable follow-up story to the ball. And, then, he is forced to sit back and watch while the reporter slowly tracks down the killer.

  • Ambitious newspaperman Mark Chapman was hired as Editor-in-Chief of the New York Express to turn around its declining fortunes. In the process, he turned what was once a well respected publication into a scandal sheet, any unethical action deemed acceptable in the end goal of getting the story, which does not sit well with some of the long standing Board members. Behind closed door, he has as his primary goal to take over the newspaper in its entirety, which will be assisted if he achieves his "bonus payment" goal of a 750,000 daily distribution, which is over double what it was when he first started and toward which he is inching ever closer. He is bringing along in his path neophyte reporter Steve McCleary, who has the same goal of getting the story at whatever cost. One staffer who does not agree with Mark's approach is more established reporter Julie Allison, arguably Steve's best friend on staff. Above and beyond his day-to-day actions and decisions, Julie doesn't like Mark's treatment of former reporter Charlie Barnes, whose once successful career has been sidelined by his alcoholism. At a public event hosted by the newspaper, Mark is dismayed to see his former wife, Charlotte Grant, who only knew her husband by his former name George Grant which he has has not used in years, and who he left without a word years ago. In their antagonistic reacquaintance, Mark accidentally kills her, his part in her death and of even knowing her which he tries to hide. As Steve gets wind of a story of a dead Jane Doe (Charlotte), whose death was initially deemed accidental by the police but who Steve is able to convince them was possible murder, Mark has to decide how much leeway he will allow Steve in protecting himself and his upward trajectory, the amount of leeway which may change as Steve, with Julie largely by his side, gets seemingly closer and closer to the truth.

  • The editor of a tabloid newspaper that specializes in sensationalistic sex and murder stories assigns a young reporter to discover the identity of the murderer of a young woman. What the reporter doesn't know is that it's the editor himself who is the killer, and he's using the reporter to cover his tracks and divert suspicion away from himself.


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