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A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
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>
If you've enjoyed Joan Fontaine's endearing performances in REBECCA or SUSPICION, check out this movie for an entirely different turn of character.
Joan plays Christabel, a woman with nice curves who's got all the angles, too. She's a classic manipulator, and the fun of the movie is watching her try to keep up her false appearances as she runs recklessly through the lives around her -- society friends, sick relatives, a thin-mustached rich playboy, and the rugged novelist guy who sees through her and loves her still.
The performance is one of shifting eyes, deceptive wheels turning inside the lovely Christabel's head, trying to recall which lie she told to whom. Fontaine retains a sense of mystery about her, because you keep wondering to what end is all this manipulation, anyway -- does Christabel even know? A consummate liar, she also remains a bit sympathetic through it all: you get the sense of someone who has played so many contradictory roles that she's kind of a lost soul.
As for the story itself, it's pretty good; and the supporting characters are merely okay. But really, they're just pins set up for Christabel to upset. Sit back and watch her go.
So, if you're like me and wanted to reach out and protect Joan in her Hitchcock movies, try BORN TO BE BAD. She's just as lovely (those doe-eyes will make you want to believe her) -- only hold onto your heart, and your wallet.
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