Born to Be Bad (1950)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir  |  27 August 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,277 users  
Reviews: 38 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 »



(screen play) (as Edith Sommer) , (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Zachary Scott ...
Harold Vermilyea ...
John Caine
Virginia Farmer ...
Aunt Clara
Kathleen Howard ...
Mrs. Bolton
Dick Ryan ...
Bess Flowers ...
Mrs. Worthington
Joy Hallward ...
Mrs. Porter
Hazel Boyne ...
Committee Woman
Irving Bacon ...
Jewelry Salesman
Gordon Oliver ...
The Lawyer (scenes deleted)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Chefe ...
Man (scenes deleted)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Drama | Film-Noir


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Release Date:

27 August 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

All Kneeling  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film had two endings. Director Nicholas Ray raised the issue of a director's right to final cut, and at this time the collective contract with directors did not stipulate this right. See more »


Nick Bradley: You love only one person in the world Christabel, and it's the love of a lifetime.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

How fine acting and direction uplifts a film
3 May 2002 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

Nicholas Ray's career remains unique in its peaks and valleys, but his work has never been dull. Even A WOMAN'S SECRET stirs memories, notably from the performance of his then-wife Gloria Grahame. BORN TO BE BAD is an "almost" -- its depiction of the New York theatrical lifestyle on on-target, down to the living quarters. And its characters ring true. Still, the plot, if taken apart, is a muddle in the middle. Nonetheless, Ray has provided strong mise en scene, and offered an underrated star like JOAN LESLIE an opportunity to show how truthful and relaxed a performer she was. Her performance is almost equalled by that of MEL FERRER as the "probably-gay" character. In her role, JOAN FONTAINE, an excellent actress, is able to convey the seven-faced facets of a woman who misuses friendships, romance, and opportunity... all for her benefit. ROBERT RYAN, as ever, offers a solid performance though his character is far less defined. and ZACHARY SCOTT does well too. Ray's use of camera angles, lighting, etal. may seem commonplace, but there is careful use of everything involved. But what is remembered, when all is said and done, is the work of JOAN LESLIE as the put-upon fiance. It is performances like hers that are ignored... but that are enormously difficult to bring across accurately. Hers is the pilot light that keeps BORN TO BE BAD intriguing.

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