powered by AFI
Slander was based on a 1956 teleplay by Harry W. Junkin entitled Public Figure which was broadcast on the CBS dramatic television series Studio One, starring James Daly and Mercedes McCambridge. The title Public Figure was also used as a working title for Slander, in addition to the title Pattern of Malice. A February 20, 1956 Hollywood Reporter article noted that producer Armand Deutsch sold the teleplay, which he had purchased from Junkin, to M-G-M on the condition that Deutsch be hired to produce the film version. Although a March 5, 1956 Daily Variety article states that M-G-M hired Allen Rivkin to write a script entitled Pattern of Malice from the teleplay, he was not credited onscreen and no further information has been found about his participation in the film. According to a July 31, 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item, M-G-M changed the film's title to Confidential Slander in response to a conflict with Sam Baer, who had registered the title Slander for a film; however, the conflict was apparently resolved prior to the film's January 1957 release under the title Slander.
The 1950s saw the beginnings of a new tabloid format embodied in "scandal sheets" like Confidential, which featured stories about Hollywood film stars' private lives. Although the December 22, 1956 Motion Picture Herald review claimed that the magazine and its publisher portrayed in Slander were based on a real magazine and publisher, no information as to the identity of either has been found.
A August 23, 1956 Hollywood Reporter article stated that Lewis Martin replaced actor Theodore Newton in the role of "Charles Orrin Sterling" when the latter became ill during production. Additional Hollywood Reporter news items add the following actors to the cast: Richard Deacon, Jeanette Nolan and Eleanor Grumer. Nolan and Deacon were not in the released film and the appearance of Grumer could not be determined. The December 17, 1956 Hollywood Reporter review notes that Jack Shafton and Allan Henderson designed and created the marionettes Van Johnson used in the film as "Scott Ethan Martin" the host of a televised puppet show. A modern source adds Patricia Winters to the cast.