Carnival dancer Lane Bellamy finds herself stranded in a southern town ruled by corrupt political boss Titus Semple. Lane becomes romantically involved with sheriff Fielding Carlisle, a ... See full summary »
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Carnival dancer Lane Bellamy finds herself stranded in a southern town ruled by corrupt political boss Titus Semple. Lane becomes romantically involved with sheriff Fielding Carlisle, a weakling whose career is being driven by Titus. Seeing Lane as a liability to his own political ambitions, Titus mounts a campaign to get her driven out of town. She finds she can't get a job and even gets arrested on a trumped-up morals charge. Released from jail, Lane finds work as a "hostess" at Lutie-Mae's road house, where she meets Dan Reynolds, another member of the town's political machine. They marry and move to a home on Flamingo Road, the town's social pinnacle. Their marriage is soon marked by scandal when a drunken Carlisle visits Lane at home one evening and shoots himself. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Near the end of the film a mob forms in front of Joan Crawford's home. The mob is not seen but you hear dozens of people outside making verbal threats. The next scene is her driving away. You would think there would have been a confrontation outside with the mob of people. See more »
Like a dry Martini with just a tad too much vermouth, garnished with an olive that hasn't been washed of its brine, this one can leave a nasty taste if you're looking for something that goes down smoothly. But if you're not too fastidious, this Crawford star vehicle is almost ridiculously entertaining. Joan might have been just a little long in the tooth to be playing a hoochy-coochy carnival girl in the film's opening sequence but it isn't long before she's on her way up, constantly being tripped on that inexorable climb by one of the slimiest villains that Sydney Greenstreet ever played. Warners trowels on the class "A" production values (except for some glaring back projections at a construction site) and Michael Curtiz's direction is, as usual, briskly efficient, getting the best from everyone in the cast, principal and supporting players alike, except perhaps for Greenstreet who really doesn't look well at all and seems to be struggling against imminent collapse in some scenes. (He made only one picture after this one and died from complications of diabetes about five years later.)
Max Steiner contributes his usual melodically overwrought score (with heavy reliance on the popular song, "If I Could Be One Hour With You [Tonight]"), lushly orchestrated by Murray Cutter, under the musical direction of that Warners stalwart, Ray Heindorf. It's almost too distracting but the frequently crackling dialogue keeps the audience's attention focused on the pulpy proceedings. Ted McCord's black-and-white cinematography is an outstanding example of why not every picture should be in color and I suspect that it was Travilla who was given the task of gowning Crawford once she'd finally crossed over to the right side of the tracks. (Sheila O'Brien, also credited, probably ran up those nifty waitress uniforms and the prison garb Crawford gets to wear not once, but twice!)
They really, REALLY don't make 'em like this anymore, and thank goodness Turner Classic Movies, for instance, trundles a tasty morsel like this out of their archives every once in a while for us to savor once again.
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