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Francis Ford Coppola
As the narrator invites us to explore the horrors of an insane mind, a young woman wakes from a nightmare in a cheap hotel room. We follow her through the skid-row night and encounters with an abusive husband; a wino; a pimp and the rich man he panders for; a flashback to her traumatic childhood; violence; pursuit through dark streets; dementia. Filmed in film-noir style throughout; only the narrator speaks. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The film was denied an exhibition seal by the New York censor board in 1953 but was finally passed with cuts and released in New York in late 1955. See more »
I have so much to show you. So much that you are afraid to see. Come, let me take you by the arm and show you the bed of evil you sprang from. Let me take you back, to when you were a little girl. Let me show you... your father.
[Flashback scene of The Gamine's father]
Let me show you... your mother.
[Flashback scene of The Gamine's mother]
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This is one of those (exceptionally) rare very low budget films where you can see clearly that, if the director had had more time and more money, we would be discussing a classic "film".
Better known to buffs of the odd, the obscure, and the strange as "Daughter of Horror", in the tale as told we are witness to the unraveling of a mind. Like "Eraserhead", the best of this sub-genre, it is difficult to tell where the madness starts and where reality ends- or, indeed, if any of what we see on screen is real at all. It is hard to get any sense of what is occurring from the Gamine's point of view. Are the events happening to her? Is she dreaming? Hallucinating? The viewer (or, at least this viewer) is always a little off balance while watching this movie, and I think that that is what the director was aiming at.
I would go so far as to say that, within the budgetary constraints imposed, this movie is a masterpiece. As stated in the synopsis, this is a dark movie with no sympathetic characters, no attractive locales, no hope. Were it just a Film Noire murder story, it would still be a very good movie. As a descent into madness, it excels.
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