Christabel fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna's wealthy fiancée Curtis. The only one who sees through her facade is Nick, a rugged writer who loves ... See full summary »
Christabel fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna's wealthy fiancée Curtis. The only one who sees through her facade is Nick, a rugged writer who loves her anyway. Christabel also loves Nick, but she loves Curtis' money more. After convincing Curtis that Donna is only interested in him for his money, she tricks Curtis into marrying her. Of course, she still dallies with Nick on the side. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
`Born to be Bad' is a great melodrama from 1950 directed by Nicholas Ray and starring the normally genteel Joan Fontaine. In this film however, Fontaine plays Christabel, a young socialite who purports to be an earnest and innocent woman, yet has a pretty insidious duplicitous nature. (Think a slightly less deranged Eve Harrington) Throughout the course of the film, Christabel connives her way into winning the heart of a wealthy man who was previously betrothed to the woman who took her in to her home and introduced her to society as well as love and throw away a famous writer who she seems to actually have feelings for, yet cannot give up the allure of marrying for money.
The great thing about `Born to be Bad' is that no matter what happens to her, Christabel is pretty unrepentant, even up until the very end. This is somewhat varied from the great melodramas of the 30's-50's, where the `evil man/woman' sees the error in their ways, or gets their comeuppance. Nicholas Ray of course went on to direct the classics `Johnny Guitar' and `Rebel Without a Cause', the very model from which teen angst films stemmed, but `Born to be Bad' is a pretty simple film that has a lot of good scene-chewing scenes. I particularly enjoyed watching Fontaine practically get whiplash every time one of her men would grab her and kiss her with fervent passion; it's just that cheesy and good. `Born to be Bad' is another fine example of why the melodramas of this era play so much better than any of that genre today, and even in the last couple of decades it is intelligent, with a great script and even better acting, and is just simply fun to watch.
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