6.3/10
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10 user 4 critic

The Female Animal (1958)

An aging film star and her alcoholic daughter compete for a handsome extra.

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(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Vanessa Windsor
...
Penny Windsor
...
Lily Frayne
...
...
Hank Galvez (not Lopez)
...
Piggy
...
Irma Jones
...
Tom Maloney
...
Dr. John Ramsay
...
Nurse
Yvonne Peattie ...
Hairdresser
...
Charlie Grant (as Casey Adams)
Douglas Evans ...
Al The Director
Aram Katcher ...
Mischa Boroff
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Storyline

Jaded movie star Vanessa Windsor, saved from a studio accident by handsome extra Chris Farley, pursues him, and soon he's the 'caretaker' of her beach house. Vanessa's sexy, alcoholic adult daughter Penny accidentally meets Chris, who rescues her from an 'octopus' boyfriend. Before you know it, Chris is involved with both mother and daughter, and his only way out is to take a job in a Mexican picture about man-eating orchids... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It is said that when a woman fights for a man, she is like an ANIMAL!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 May 1958 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Anikanopoiites gynaikes  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was actress Hedy Lamarr's final cinematic appearance. See more »

Quotes

Lily Frayne: [Lily Frayne and her date, Pepe, are at the restaurant bar; Pepe looks troubled as he examines a bracelet on his wrist] I don't know why you're objecting to that slave bracelet. I buy one for all my friends. I used to wear two or three of them myself around my ankle in the old days. Everybody wears them.
Pepe, Lily's Gigolo: Mon cher, please, I'm bored hearing about "The Stone Age."
Lily Frayne: [shakes her diamond-covered hand at Pepe] That's where these rocks came from, lover, and don't forget it.
[turns to Bartender]
Lily Frayne: Darling, ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Hedy Lamarr and Jane Powell compete for George Nader
21 August 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Female Animal" (1958) is a behind-the-scenes movie, revealing of Hollywood. Albert Zugsmith, a Hollywood insider, wrote the story and produced the film, so he should know. The screenwriter is Robert Hill, who had written "Female on the Beach" three years earlier, also produced by Zugsmith. This is another Universal-International widescreen film in beautiful black and white, with cinematography by Russell Metty. A highly professional movie-making team was in place at that time.

The story bears a superficial resemblance to "Sunset Boulevard" in that Hedy Lamarr, an aging actress, sets up a handsome movie extra (George Nader) in her Malibu beach house as a kept man. Nader, like William Holden, goes along with the romance only up to a point, which is when Lamarr buys him a wardrobe of expensive suits. By chance Jane Powell, who is Lamarr's daughter, gets involved with Nader too (similar to Holden's taking up with Nancy Olsen). This daring triangle with incestuous overtones spices the melodrama, as does a very sexy Jane Powell. Like mother, like daughter, she comes on to Nader in her bathing suit. To add further interest, we have vintage Jan Sterling as another aging star with an acid-tongue who makes no bones about rounding up Nader too. Sterling has some of the best lines in the film, counseling Lamarr how to hold on to a lover.

Opinion about Lamarr's acting in this movie is sharply divided. Mine is that she does a great job developing her character subtly with a well-written part. She is so used to seducing men that she has her method down pat, and she is genuinely bewildered when Nader doesn't completely cotton to the role of kept man. I'll repeat what I wrote about her 6 weeks ago in "Dishonored Lady": "Lamarr is underrated as an actress, but her performances are holding up very well indeed after many decades, which means they're still fresh, relevant, interesting, conveying pertinent emotion, not dated, not boring and not in some style that's now looked down upon or that looks strange to later tastes." In "The Female Animal", a nurse tells Lamarr: "I've always thought that you were a much better actress than the roles they gave you".

This is not as ambitious or big a movie as "Sunset Boulevard", but it looks great and is fun in its Hollywood references. It has authentic atmosphere throughout in locations and lesser roles.


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