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A tough lady gangster learns that she will be totally blind within a week. She seeks help from the one eye surgeon who may be able to save her sight. In the process, he also causes her to have a change of heart. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Here is a rare gem, which hasn't seen the light of day as a VHS or DVD release to date. It has appeared on cable (AMC) very rarely, and not for a few years, but precious recorded copies are available. When I saw the film on TV about four years ago, the print was remarkably excellent and free of age-related artifacts. The film has held-up well, but prints are scarce.
This Woman is Dangerous is worth seeking out for a number of reasons. It was Joan Crawford's last film at Warner's, and she absolutely loathed it. However, contrary to reviewers of the past and Crawford's own opinion, the film is quite good. The plot, as many have already stated, concerns a lady gangster Beth (Crawford) and her boyfriend (David Brian) who is heading downward in a life of crime. As it happens, she is in need of a special eye surgery to restore her sight (as it plays in the film, it is very convincing and good--not contrived as many reviewers have claimed).
She goes to Chicago to have the operation, and hide out from the rather possessive Brian, and the doctor (Dennis Morgan) shows her that there are other alternatives to a life of crime. They slowly fall in love as she regains her sight, but she is presented with a problem when Brian wants to re-enter her life and the doctor is confronted with her true identity. Will he accept her and help her start over, or will he reject her because of her past? You will have to watch the very engrossing melodrama, This Woman is Dangerous, to find out.
Stylistically, the film most resembles Crawford's earlier film, The Damned Don't Cry. Both films have similar themes and noir photography. The score is also lovely. The film is a beautifully-made, rather glossy WB noir. Joan Crawford looks very attractive throughout the film, as she always did in the early '50s when her characteristic look reached its peak (the shoulder pads, the ankle strap shoes, the big mouth and eyes). Her performance is sensitive and heartfelt--certainly one of her most memorable. David Brian's performance is the weak link in the film, but Dennis Morgan is excellent as the doctor.
This Woman is Dangerous is a solid film noir, undeserving of its "potboiler" reputation.
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