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When wild child Anna Lucasta (Kitt) is banished from the family home by her self-righteous father, she falls into a life of prostitution and into the arms of street-wise sailor Danny Johnson (Davis). But after Anna shocks them all by finally finding true love with a well-heeled young suitor, her unforgiving father sets a vengeful plan in motion to remind his daughter of her sordid past and destroy her future forever! Written by
Anna Lucasta is most interesting when lead Eartha Kitt is with Sammy Davis Jr.
Having just watched Eartha Kitt in St. Louis Blues, I went back to Netflix Streaming and then saw her other 1958 release of Anna Lucasta. The title character she plays is a street walker (to use the euphemism of what is often referred to as the "world's oldest profession") in San Diego who likes it whenever sailor Danny Johnson (Sammy Davis Jr.) stops in at Noah's (Alvin Childress) bar. But since Danny's not interested in making her an honest woman, she leaves when her estranged father Joe (Rex Ingram) picks her up to take her home even though the two left on bitter terms years previous. I'll stop there and just say that it took a while to get used to the mostly speedy delivery of lines as directed by Arnold Laven. In fact, I didn't realize that Joe's son-in-law Frank (Frederick O'Neal) was a pretty greedy fellow. Since this was made during the production code era, the word "prostitute" is not used and we don't get the full picture of how abusive Joe was to his daughter though to judge by his drunken scenes, he certainly could've recognized how desirable she became as she grew. Though she has a nice revelation scene with potential suitor Rudolph Slocum (Henry Scott), Ms. Kitt really sparkles whenever she's with Sammy Davis Jr. especially when she's looking at him and she sees him dancing as director Laven cuts to him doing just that as well as playing drums. In fact, the second part was more entertaining than the first hour. So on that note, I recommend Anna Lucasta. P.S. Arnold Laven was a native of my birthtown of Chicago, Ill. Rosetta LeNoire who was Stella would later go on to fame as the grandmother on "Family Matters". And, yes, Alvin Childress was previously Amos Jones on "The Amos 'n' Andy Show".
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