A love story centered around the lives of three young German soldiers in the years following World War I. Their close friendship is strengthened by their shared love for the same woman who ... See full summary »
The beautiful and frivolous wife of a plantation owner in antebellum Louisiana, proves unsatisfactory at running the household, leading her serious-minded husband to enlist the help of her unmarried sister.
For the most part, this is a competently made (great sets, and the editing is particularly crisp) but uninspired melodrama about a steadfast Average Joe standing up to the racketeers who have wronged him. But I have some advice -- don't give up on it too soon (as I nearly did).
The opening 50 minutes are pretty much seen-it-all-before, middle-of-the road MGM stuff, but suddenly in the last reel things perk up immensely. First, we have a beautifully designed and psychologically poignant scene explaining the chief villain's desire to back an up-and-coming fighter. This is followed by the movie's real knock-out punch -- Florence Rice, up to this point the stereotypical pretty-and-loyal girlfriend, agrees to help infiltrate the mob by auditioning as a chorus girl at their club. She adopts the guise of a sexy champagne-swilling dame keen on seducing the crime boss. Although she expresses slight reluctance at first, one surmises that she secretly revels in being such hot stuff in her sexy new togs. Soon, a couple of sips of bubbly have her diving into her role so enthusiastically that the sequence is absolutely jaw-dropping (she flashes a lot more cleavage and leg than you would expect in a post-code movie.) These two scenes turn the movie on its ear, revealing a fascinating subtext of perversity and hidden desire.
Afterwards, the action climax is hurried and sloppy, but it uses a plot device that would later turn up to much more nerve-wracking effect in an Anthony Mann noir.
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