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Wicked as They Come (1956)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  February 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 153 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

A poor but beautiful woman sets her sights on rising to the top, and lets nothing stand in her way - including murder.



(screenplay), (screen story), 2 more credits »
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An executive lets an attractive cook talk him into taking a job as butler.

Director: William A. Seiter
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Cast overview:
Kathleen 'Kathy' Allen, nee Allenborg
Tim O'Bannion (as Phil Carey)
Herbert Marshall ...
Stephen Collins
Larry Buckham
David Kossoff ...
Sam Lewis
Marvin Kane ...
Mike Lewis
Sidney James ...
Frank Allenborg
Gil Winfield ...
Chuck (as Gilbert Winfield)
Patrick Allen ...
Ralph Truman ...
John Dowling
Faith Brook ...
Virginia Collins
Alastair Hunter
Larry Cross ...
T. V. Announcer
Jacques B. Brunius ...
Inspector Caron


On a trip to Europe, her prize in a "fixed" beauty contest, Kathy Allne (Arlene Dahl)meet advertising man Tim O'Bannion (Philip Carey), who is attracted by her beauty but repelled by her ruthlessness towards men. In London, she ruins the career of photographer Larry Buckham (Michael Goodliffe)and compromises Tim's boss, Stephen Collins (Herbert Marshall). About to steal Colloins from his wife, Kathy learns that the wife's father, the elderly John Dowling (Ralph Truman)actually owns the world-wide advertising agency, so she marries him and,later, accidentally kills him, mistaking him for a prowler. But she is found guilty of murder and sentenced to die. Will this innocent gold-digger actually be executed? Written by Les Aams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


FOR EVERY MAN WHO BETRAYED HER..A HUNDRED MEN HAD TO PAY! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

February 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Keiner ging an ihr vorbei  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

A real potboiler
15 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Arlene Dahl is "Wicked as They Come" in this 1956 film also starring Philip Carey. Soap fans may know Carey as Asa Buchanan in "One Life to Live," the soap opera from which the 82-year-old actor recently retired, having been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006. In 1956, he was as hunky as they get. Herbert Marshall also stars.

A Hollywood insider once told me that the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in person - and he had seen them all - was Arlene Dahl. So she's a great choice to play a man-hating, gold-digging femme fatale in this British drama. Her character, Kathy, suffered some sort of trauma which has caused her to turn on men. To her, they're just steppingstones to big bucks. One man (Carey) sees through her and acts as her conscience throughout the film.

If this film had been a lot worse or a lot better, it could today be a camp classic. Unfortunately it falls in between. Kathy pulls some outrageous stunts, but the script doesn't have enough bite to it. Not only that, it's entirely predictable. Case in point is Kathy's romance with her boss, Stephen (Herbert Marshall). He agrees to leave his wife for her. Later that evening, Kathy realizes that Stephen's wife is no less than the daughter of the owner of the company. Leaving her will certainly put Stephen out of a job. When Stephen's wife confronts Kathy in the ladies' room, you had to know she'd be calling Kathy "Stepmommy" pretty soon, now that Kathy knows the score and the players. That's hardly my favorite Kathy moment - the best is when she becomes engaged and practically buys out a store on the guy's charge account, then pawns everything and blows town. That took guts.

Dahl, despite her beauty, was never really given a chance to show what she could do in Hollywood acting-wise, and here, she's good. Had she been around at the height of Hollywood's golden age, she perhaps would have had more opportunities. As a post-war actress with the studios on the verge of breaking up, she really didn't, and while another redhead, Rhonda Fleming, had a slightly better career, neither achieved the stardom they might have.

Recommended for beautiful Arlene, handsome Phil, a pretty old Herbert Marshall and some beautiful fashions.

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