Madeleine Damien is the fashion editor of a slick Manhattan magazine by day and a lively party girl by night. Unfortunately, the pressures of her job, including kowtowing to a hefty ... See full summary »
Beautiful Mary returns to her small hometown after many years from Chicago wearing a mink coat and carrying an expensive cigarette case. Her arrival causes long standing enmities to surface between two of her old boyfriends, Kenny Veech, a loafing gambler, and debonair Lew Lentz, owner of a local nightclub. Their deep-seated animosity repeatedly results in antagonism and fights as they compete for Mary's affections. Kenny's friend Gitlo, a bartender in Lentz' club, enlists Kenny in an aborted plan to rob Lentz of $15,000 in profits from sponsoring a local carnival. Lentz retaliates by framing both men for murder. Written by
Gabe Taverney (email@example.com)
This film is all about Ava Gardner, you have to realize that in writing a review. MGM was about to launch her on her career and Whistle Stop was a low budget independently produced noir film that United Artists released. If it and she flopped it was no loss to MGM who saw their money up front in a loan out fee.
Fortunately Ava was also doing things like The Killers and The Hucksters right around the same time that really launched her career. And she is stunningly beautiful here. So stunningly beautiful that why she was wasting her time with a lummox like George Raft is beyond me.
Raft is a lazy lout who's stuck in a small town who drinks and gambles his time away and is indulged in it by his mother, Florence Bates. Ava purportedly comes back from the big city hoping he'll have changed his ways and is looking to be upwardly mobile. When that doesn't occur she starts taking up with Tom Conway, a local club owner.
Victor McLaglen who is Conway's bartender tries to get Raft in on a scheme to rob and kill Conway. Raft doesn't go through with it, but Conway out of jealousy murders his own bouncer and frames Raft and McLaglen. I'm still not quite sure why Conway just ups and murders an innocent man just to frame these two.
The script leaves a lot to be desired. Some characters are created who quite frankly don't particularly have the audience's sympathy. I certainly can't get worked up over their plight.
Victor McLaglen reaches back to his Oscar winning performance in The Informer. Most of the time he's far more subdued than the McLaglen we've come to expect in John Ford films. Yet in his final moments it's a total ripoff from The Informer.
I don't think the film hurt Ava Gardner's career, but I'm not sure it advanced it all that much.
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