A nightclub singer marries the rich owner of a rubber plantation. When she returns with him to his estate in Malaysia, she finds out that he is cruel, vicious and insanely jealous. She and ...
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Fan dancer Alabam Lee is convicted of breaching the morals code with her racy shows. Her agent has her adopt a "mother" from an old ladies home as a publicity ploy to improve her image. ... See full summary »
Gangster Shoots Magiz is the producer of the show in which Mary is appearing. She marries him even though she can't stand a thing about him, knowing that in his business he may not be ... See full summary »
Young freewheeling wanderer Jerry Day and his beautiful wife Toni are at odds over their lifestyle. Jerry can't accept responsibility but Toni yearns for a family and a settled life. Then ... See full summary »
A relationship gradually develops between a savvy New York street girl and a good-hearted cab driver--who first meet when she stiffs him for the fare--but other matters keep getting in their way, including financial problems and a murder.
Clark Gable plays a card cheat who has to go on the lam to avoid a pesky cop. He meets a lonely, but slightly wild, librarian, Carole Lombard, while he is hiding out. The two get married ... See full summary »
This is the story of an egotistical nightclub dance performer named Raoul, his determination to succeed at all costs, and the only woman in his life that truly matters to him, a dancing ... See full summary »
Rene is broke and Kay is a rich actress visiting Paris. They meet, share a cab and dinner. He is smitten by her, but she leaves for London and he follows. At her house, when he cooks the ... See full summary »
A nightclub singer marries the rich owner of a rubber plantation. When she returns with him to his estate in Malaysia, she finds out that he is cruel, vicious and insanely jealous. She and the plantation's overseer develop a mutual attraction, but are terrified at what will happen if her husband finds out. Written by
Although it's seldom discussed, one of the staple genres that classic Hollywood tackled best was the jungle-set melodrama. It gave studio technicians an opportunity to experiment with oppressive artificial sets, eerie sounds effects and expressionist lighting. Those Venetian-blind shadow patterns so characteristic of film noir were preceded by just as many painterly images lit through louvered windows and bamboo curtains. And the exotic backgrounds allowed jaded screenwriters to attain a delirious level of moral turpitude, betrayal, sadistic violence and erotic obsessiveness, not to mention downright racism. White Woman may not quite rank with the finest wallows in the white man's grave (Red Dust, Tropic Zone, the absolutely jaw-dropping Kongo), but it certainly concocts a heady stew of cruelty, masochism and lasciviousness. This is thanks to a dense script by some old reliables, and by another ingenious portrayal by Laughton (much more subdued than in the similarly-set masterpieces, the Beachcomber and Island of Lost Souls, but wilier and more self-deluding.) Lombard was still stuck in her earnest, victimized stage before she hit her stride as a comedienne, but her brittle blonde presence and flustered pretensions are a fine fit here. Charles Bickford kicks the plot into overdrive as a Gable-like he-man who won't brook Laughton's guff. They're a perfect match for each other playing a doomed hand of poker while their gruesome fate awaits them at the hands of the natives they've crossed. Thankfully, the filmmakers avoid the moralising and let the viewer stoically sink into the morass along with them.
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