MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 11,848 this week

Born to Be Bad (1950)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir  |  27 August 1950 (USA)
6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,227 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 16 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play) (as Edith Sommer) , (adaptation), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 27 Nov 2011
 
a list of 35 titles
created 16 Dec 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 20 Apr 2014
 
a list of 29 titles
created 02 May 2014
 
a list of 27 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Born to Be Bad" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Born to Be Bad (1950)

Born to Be Bad (1950) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Born to Be Bad.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's ... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine, Brenda Marshall
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Based on James Barrie's play "Alice Sit-By-The-Fire". In turn-of-the-century New York, a young girl who believes she's learned "the seamy side of life" from a risque play takes it upon ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Joan Fontaine, John Lund, Mona Freeman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An actress becomes an alcoholic after being jilted. She is aided by an Alcoholics Anonymous member with whom she has an affair; however, he is married.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Ray Milland, Teresa Wright
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

At the Tangier airport, a group of people await the arrival of a mysterious plane from behind the Iron Curtain. The reception committee includes Susan, an American; Gil Walker, a ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Marquis Warren
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Jack Palance, Corinne Calvet
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Director Nicholas Ray is eager to complete a final film before his imminent death from cancer. Wim Wenders is working on his own film Hammett (1982) in Hollywood, but flies to New York to ... See full summary »

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Wim Wenders
Stars: Gerry Bamman, Ronee Blakley, Pierre Cottrell
Macao (1952)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, William Bendix
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An industrialist (Joseph Cotton) and a pianist (Joan Fontaine) meet on a trip and fall in love. Through a quirk of fate, they are reported dead in a crash though they weren't on the plane. ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Joseph Cotten, Françoise Rosay
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Army Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Guy Green
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven
Drama | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The main story combines bits of Giovanni Boccaccio's own life (maybe and maybe not) with three of his most fabulous stories of love. It has Boccaccio following Fiametta to a country villa ... See full summary »

Director: Hugo Fregonese
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Godfrey Tearle
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Incidents of a marriage are recalled in flashback.

Director: John Berry
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Rosemary DeCamp, Harry Morgan
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ornithologist battles a family of bird poachers in the Florida Everglades.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Budd Schulberg
Stars: Burl Ives, Christopher Plummer, Chana Eden
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Susan is about to be married, but the wedding may get called off after her fiancee summons three former beaus. Each reveals a different portrait of Susan: one describes her as a naive ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Joan Fontaine, George Brent, Dennis O'Keefe
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Zachary Scott ...
Curtis Carey
...
Donna Foster
...
Gabriel 'Gobby' Broome
Harold Vermilyea ...
John Caine
Virginia Farmer ...
Aunt Clara Caine
Kathleen Howard ...
Mrs. Bolton
Dick Ryan ...
Arthur - Curtis's Butler
Bess Flowers ...
Mrs. Worthington
Joy Hallward ...
Mrs. Porter
Hazel Boyne ...
Committee Woman
Irving Bacon ...
Jewelry Salesman
Gordon Oliver ...
Harrison - the Lawyer (scenes deleted)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Chefe ...
Man (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Trouble never came in a more desirable package! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

All Kneeling  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Cadillac is a 1948 Series 62 convertible coupe. See more »

Quotes

Gabriel 'Gobby' Broome: What a swell farewell party. We said goodbye to everything, including the lining in my stomach.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #7.13 (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Citizen Hughes
20 July 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Director Nicholas Ray managed to take his revenge on RKO's Howard Hughes with this real life "Citizen Kane". Hughes was obsessively pursuing Joan Fontaine whose post WWII career was going nowhere. Like Hearst's intervention in Marion Davies' career, Hughes got Fontaine the lead in Ray's "Born To Be Bad" and then meddled in the production to insure that the film became a promotional vehicle for her.

Whatever Ray may have thought of this it was not a complete disaster. Although the 32 year- old Fontaine is not credible in the role of a young business school student, if you suspend disbelief about the age factor, her performance is the equal of Anne Baxter's in "All About Eve". The same thing could be said of Davies; while her career was mismanaged by Hearst's inappropriate casting, her talent was still able to shine through.

Although not given final cut, Ray somehow was able to turn "Born To Be Bad" into a self- parodying melodrama that reflected much of the Hughes-Fontaine relationship. Even making Fontaine's mark (wealthy Curtis Carey-played by Zachary Scott) into a Hughes look- alike, complete with pencil mustache and a passion for flying.

Unlike Orsen Welles, Ray made a lot of women's pictures, a quality "Citizen Kane" does not share with "Born To Be Bad". Fontaine plays master manipulator Christabel Caine (not Kane), not quite a sociopath but a woman with little sign of a conscience. Unlike most of these women's pictures, it is the men who she has trouble fooling with her innocent act. Cunning gay artist Gobby (Mel Ferrer)) finds her a kindred spirit and novelist Nick (Robert Ryan) is turned on by her greed and lack of moral/ethical boundaries.

Ray has Fontaine play the character in a nice self-parodying style that actually makes her somewhat sympathetic to the viewer, at least for those who can take a guilty pleasure watching her turn on the charm. Unlike her sister, the eternally earthy Olivia deHavilland, age made Fontaine brittle and well suited to villainess roles. With cute little smiles and feigned reaction shots Fontaine keeps the film vicious for its entire length.

Like Ray's "Johnny Guitar", this is a film about two women, one good and one bad (there is no subtlety), who vie for the same man. It is a battle of Joans, as Donna is played by gorgeous Joan Leslie ("Sgt. York"). Donna is a publishing house editor, postwar America was still adjusting to the vocational progress women had made during the war. But the evil Christabel explicitly rejects career opportunities (one can't imagine her contributing to the war effort) in favor of setting herself up for life by landing a rich husband she can set up for a lucrative divorce settlement.

Leslie and Ferrer are especially good in the film. Leslie gives the only restrained performance, which is more powerful because it contrasts so sharply with the overplayed performances Ray gets from the rest of his cast.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


27 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Error in IMDb Quote Schmoozette
Joan Leslie f111151
Joan miscast mals2011
Robert Ryan!! Piperson
TCM Print Length sid-53
It will play on TCM at 4:00 PM (EDT) on Wednesday, 4/10/2013. michaelhelwick
Discuss Born to Be Bad (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?