6.7/10
1,450
43 user 18 critic

Born to Be Bad (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 15 July 1950 (USA)
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), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Susan is in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Melvyn Douglas, Gloria Grahame
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
Party Girl (1958)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lawyer Thomas Farrell is a defender of crooks. Vicki Gayle encourages him improve his reputation, but mob king Rico Angelo insists otherwise.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse, Lee J. Cobb
The Lusty Men (1952)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Robert Parrish
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy
The Racket (1951)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The big national crime syndicate has moved into town, partnering up with local crime boss Nick Scanlon. There are only two problems: First, Nick is the violent type, preferring to do things... See full summary »

Directors: John Cromwell, Mel Ferrer, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, Robert Ryan
Hot Blood (1956)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Stephen Torino (Wilde), who is tricked by his brother Marco (Adler) into an arranged marriage with tempestuous Annie Caldash (Russell). Annie is willing to give the union a go, but Torino wants none of it.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Jane Russell, Cornel Wilde, Luther Adler
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Andrew Morton is an attorney who made it out of the slums. Nick Romano is his client, a young man with a long string of crimes behind him. After he lost his paycheck gambling, hoping to buy... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, John Derek, George Macready
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The most complete, newly restored version of Nicholas Ray's experimental masterpiece embodies the director's practice of film-making as a "communal way of life." Ray plays himself in the ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Richard Bock, Tom Farrell, Danny Fisher
Run for Cover (1955)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mistaken for train robbers, Matt Dow and Davey Bishop are shot at by the sheriff and his posse but they are cleared and hired as lawmen.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: James Cagney, Viveca Lindfors, John Derek
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Don Taylor
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The saga of the Hatfield-and-McCoy feud is romanticized in Samuel Goldwyn's Roseanna McCoy. Newcomer Joan Evans stars as the title character, whose elopement with Johnse Hatfield serves to ... See full summary »

Directors: Irving Reis, Nicholas Ray
Stars: Farley Granger, Joan Evans, Charles Bickford
Wet Dreams (1974)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Experimental anthology film consisting of nine segments - Contrasts, The Janitor, The Plumber, Another Wet Dream, The Happy Necrophiliacs, On a Sunday Afternoon, A Face, Politfuck, Flames - all focused on 70s sex, love and politics.

Directors: Lasse Braun, Max Fischer, and 8 more credits »
Stars: Melvin Miracle, Jerry Abnes, Barbara
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Curtis
...
Donna
...
Gobby
Harold Vermilyea ...
John Caine
Virginia Farmer ...
Aunt Clara
...
Mrs. Bolton
Dick Ryan ...
Arthur
Bess Flowers ...
Mrs. Worthington
Joy Hallward ...
Mrs. Porter
Hazel Boyne ...
Committee Woman
...
Jewelry Salesman
...
The Lawyer
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:

The rare and racy adventures of a female savage in a jungle of intrigue. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 July 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 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 »

Quotes

Christabel Caine Carey: I've always wanted to know someone who went to China, tell me about it.
Nick Bradley: A lot of Chinese live there.
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.


30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?