Season

Spring 2020

Past Events

March 29, 2020

Venue

The Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129 St.
New York, NY 10027

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The 2020 Kit Noir Festival has been postponed, and dates are still being scheduled. Please check back for updates or join our mailing list to learn when the new festival dates are set.

1952 / 82 mins / b/w
Dir. Phil Karlson / Sc. Eugene Ling, James Poe, Ted Sherdeman / Cine. Burnett Guffey
Cast: Broderick Crawford, John Derek, Donna Reed
35mm print courtesy of Sony Pictures
Introduced by Matthew Rivera '18 CC, Kit Noir Festival trailer and logo co-creator

Based on the novel The Dark Page (1944) by former reporter and soon-to-be auteur Sam Fuller, Scandal Sheet is the second of three “newspaper noirs” screened in this retrospective (the others being Ace in the Hole and Sweet Smell of Success). 

The Jewish influence on the development of American journalism has been significant enough to inspire bigoted and conspiratorial claims of Jewish domination, now as then; but the reality is that Jewish Americans have been far more prominent as editors, reporters, and pundits than as actual owners. Sam Fuller’s own path – first selling newspapers in Manhattan at the age of 12, then copyboy for the New York Evening Journal, eventually assigned to the crime beat at the New York Evening Graphic in 1928 – was in this sense more typical than that of someone like Adolph Ochs, who purchased the New York Times in 1896.

A Dostoyevskian thriller in which a big-city editor kills his ex-wife and is unable to stop his crack reporter from pursuing the case, Fuller’s novel was initially picked for film adaptation by none other than Howard Hawks, who ended up abandoning the project and releasing the rights to Columbia Pictures. Hawks’ change of heart was fortuitous: The film was assigned to director Phil Karlson, for whom it was the first in a series of noirish crime films – also including 99 River Street (1953), The Phenix City Story (1957), and The Brothers Rico (1958) – that made his reputation.