Jim Carter moves in on the McWade's carnival concession which shows scenes from Dante's "Inferno". He makes it a going concern, marrying Betty along the way. An inspector calls the ... See full summary »
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Jim Carter moves in on the McWade's carnival concession which shows scenes from Dante's "Inferno". He makes it a going concern, marrying Betty along the way. An inspector calls the amusement pier unsafe but Carter bribes him. The pier collapses, leading to the inspector's suicide, injury to Pop McWade, trial for Carter, and Betty's leaving him. Carter starts over with an unsafe floating casino. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Remarkably, outtakes still survive from this film. Raw footage of the clapperboard and the setup for a dance number with 16-year-old Rita Hayworth are included in the documentary Rita (2003). See more »
There's nothing left for me now, but Hell. I thought you might like to watch me go there.
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Today "Dante's Inferno" is seventy years old, and it was interesting to view the film uninterrupted on the Fox Movie Channel. Spencer Tracy's 28th of a whopping 78 film credits, and the young Rita Casino featured in a prominent dance sequence (before her last name became Hayworth) are points of particular interest here.
This is no routine melodrama: Director Harry Lachman, his writers and actors were into its moral message with dead earnestness. On display is Tracy giving it his all, along with impressive work from Claire Trevor and Alan Dinehart.
However, the basic crux of the tale, given the takeoff of Dante Alighieri was tough to take, as I personally don't believe in that poet's vision of either the underworld or its upper realmed counterpart. Too, the lengthy segment based on Gustav Dore's ridiculous lithographs were as meaningless and skewed as Michalangelo's and other Renaissance artists' graphic interpretations (all of which are traditionally designed to keep people spiritually restive, therefore controllable.)
Thus this enactment from a mythological perspective is pre-school mentality. From a pragmatic perspective, it has some cause and affect validity, in which blind ambition is felled by experienced tragedy.
Tracy's work is most effective, as he executes a flawed yet well-meaning character. Trevor beautifully supports him, rising to the challenge of a courtroom cross-examination in which she conflictingly supports her husband's business indiscretions.
Director Lachman keeps his film moving forward, while steering the entire production crew with a sure hand. For a film with its vintage, "Dante's Inferno" impressively holds its own.
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