Cast & Crew
When movie actor Brad Cameron is at Federated Studios in Hollywood for wardrobe fittings, he learns that Scandal magazine has published a false cover story about him being "caught in the act" with a young actress, June Trapping. Brad complains to his agent, Jerry Dexter, who believes that the story may have been planted by June's agent, Herman Todd. Despite Brad's declaration of innocence, his wife Marge remains unconvinced. When Brad goes to explain to Champ Winter, his best friend and June's boyfriend, Champ does not believe him and slugs him. To protect his client, Jerry goes to see June and Todd, and demands that June retract her story or he will use information he has to smear her. Meanwhile, at Scandal magazine, publisher Leland Miller assigns Jess Blancher, the writer who fabricated the story about Brad, to cover a new "exposé." At Federated, studio boss Sidney Wood tells Jerry and Brad that due to adverse public reaction, he is forced to postpone Brad's next picture and will not be renewing his contract. Unsettled by the disastrous turn of events, Marge leaves Brad, causing him great anguish. In a bar, a newspaper columnist takes Brad to meet Alice Yoland, one of his former co-stars, who is now an alcoholic due to her career being ruined by bad publicity. Later, Brad returns to the bar and learns from singer Billie Wayne, who is having an affair with Todd in hopes of advancing her career, that Alice has committed suicide. Alice's suicide prompts Brad and Jerry decide to sue the magazine and studio boss Wood agrees to support them. Brad then phones Blancher, posing as an informant in order to entrap him, and they agree to meet at the magazine's office. However, when Blancher is murdered, Brad is arrested and charged with the crime. Although Brad swears to his lawyer, Marty Ellis, that he is innocent and can not remember anything about shooting Blancher, he admits to carrying a gun, which is now missing. Later Marge tells Marty that Brad is not a murderer and gives him money for use in Brad's defense. Marty decides to try the case in front of a judge, instead of a jury. At the trial, Miller testifies about finding Blancher's body and admits that the writer frequently received death threats. Todd then testifies that Brad visited him the night of the murder and, after assaulting him, left in a violent rage to go to the Scandal office. Brad, now desperate, tells Marty that Billie might know something that could exonerate him. Marge is in the courtroom when Brad gives his testimony. He recalls entering the Scandal offices on the night of the murder. After Brad demands that the magazine print a retraction of the story, Blancher tries to throw him out. They struggle and after Blancher falls and hits his head on a filing cabinet, Brad leaves. In the present, Brad swears he did not shoot Blancher and cannot account for the missing gun. In his summation, Marty suggests that there are many victims of the magazine who could have committed the crime and suggests that Todd had a motive because Blancher could have exposed him as the source for his story on Brad. Marty then calls Billie to the stand and she testifies that earlier that day she was at Todd's apartment when two police officers discovered Brad's gun there. Todd is in the courtroom and leaps to his feet, claiming a frame-up. Marty then reveals that Todd's fingerprints have been found on the gun and asks for the charge against Brad to be dropped. The judge adjourns court to give him time to make a decision and releases Brad into Marty's custody. Later, Todd confesses and Brad is exonerated. At Federated, Marty explains that Todd was the only person who knew Brad was going to the magazine's office and concluded that after Brad left, Todd shot Blancher. Wood tells Brad that new contracts are being prepared for him and Billie and that he will be starting a new picture in two weeks. Brad then goes to his car where Madge is waiting and they drive off together.
William H. Derwin Jr.
Arthur B. Gaunt
Meadows & Mitchell
Some contemporary sources referred to the film as Scandal, Inc.. According to a March 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item, a new company was formed by East Coast backers J.V. Rhems and Paul Purcell to produce the film. A September 1956 Variety news item reported that the company, called Bonanza Productions, completed the picture and that producer Milton Mann negotiated with Republic for the film's release. The print viewed was of Mann's original cut and ran 92 minutes. After Mann arranged the film's release by Republic, the film was shortened to 79 minutes. Mann's onscreen credit reads: "Written and Produced by Milton Mann." The end credits include "portraits" of some cast members, with each actor's name superimposed. The onscreen credit for mixer was listed as "Meadows & Mitchell." The credit May be referring to Roy Meadows and Philip Mitchell, both of whom were soundmen of that era.
As reported in both the Variety and Hollywood Reporter reviews, Scandal Incorporated was the first film completed on the subject of the popular exposé publications of the 1950s. Referring to the many lawsuits brought against the Confidential and similar newsstand magazines, Variety reported that the film was the first of many planned by major and independent studios "designed to cash in on the current controversy over scandal mags and resultant million-dollar lawsuits." First published by Robert Harrison in 1951, Confidential paid informants under the counter for inside tips on celebrity scandals, then published exaggerated or completely fabricated reports in its monthly issues. Many victims of the unwanted publicity, including Maureen O'Hara and Dorothy Dandridge, produced evidence that the stories reported by the magazine were untrue and filed suits for criminal libel. Its credibility lost, the magazine ceased to be a viable force with an outraged public and eventually folded.
Another film made on the same subject as Scandal Incorporated was the 1956 M-G-M production Slander, directed by Roy Rowland and starring Van Johnson . In the 1997 Warner Bros. film, L.A. Confidential (directed by Curtis Hanson and starring Kevin Spacey and Russell Crowe), the Danny DeVito character worked for the fictional magazine "Hush Hush," which was based on the real-life publication, Confidential.