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There is no way to write a "spoiler"---is there actually somebody somewhere who, ten minutes into this 1950's film, wouldn't know where it is going and will end up---since it is a strictly written-by-the-numbers corruption and redemption meller that finds: number 1, a doctor returns from the Korean War to his Pennsylvania mining hometown, (and 2) must choose between dedicating himself to treating the suffering poor (or 3) build himself a swank office and get rich by flattering wealthy women with imaginary ailments. Throw in elements no. 5,Lizabeth Scott as a rich, spoiled, twice-divorced woman with a lip stiffer than his, and number 6, Dianne Foster as a nurse bent on helping all mankind, and there are no surprises left, especially if one take note of the name of Irving Wallace among the writers, the title and Scott billed above Foster. The only surprise here is that this film wasn't from Universal-International and directed by Douglas Sirk. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Charlton Heston and Lizabeth Scott are "Bad for Each Other" in this predictable 1953 film, also starring Mildred Dunnock, Arthur Franz, Marjorie Rambeau, and Dianne Foster. Heston plays a doctor who returns from the service to the coal town where he grew up. After meeting the wealthy, twice-married, shallow Scott, he decides not to stay in the service and becomes a society doctor, in it for the money. The nurse he hires to work for him (Foster) thinks he's better than that. The role played by Arthur Franz, that of a young doctor who admires him and doesn't mind going into the trenches, is essentially Heston's conscience.
I found this film pretty bland, but the big problem for me was that the main character as portrayed by Heston was just not likable. He wasn't likable before he took up with Scott nor was he likable throughout the film. Some of this was in the script, but some of it was in his line readings. He had fat attitude every time he opened his mouth. Frankly I didn't care what he did.
Lizabeth Scott was best earlier in her career, in her noir days, where her great voice, sexy blond looks, and ambiguous performances fit very well. Her character in this also was annoying. Now, she's not supposed to be likable, but we should have been able to see why Heston liked her. She seemed awfully pushy for his character to have put up with her.
Heston was tall, handsome, with a great voice and a dominating presence. This film was unfortunately directed in a somewhat old-fashioned manner so as to seem melodramatic and over the top. When someone with that strong a screen persona is directed that way, his performance becomes too actor-y.
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