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This drama takes the form of a story told using documentary material as an intrinsic part of the narrative. In this journey through the dark side of 1950s urban life, the camera follows Judith - a newly divorced woman looking for a fresh start - through the streets of Los Angeles as she encounters the strange denizens of the city, ranging from trendsetters to religious fanatics. All the tawdry and desperate faces of this world become a mirror for Judith's personal failures and struggles to claim her new life. Written by
Fiona Kelleghan <email@example.com>
This film features wonderful documentary footage of Los Angeles circa 1959, and is a valuable artifact for that reason alone. Unfortunately, the woeful attempt to form the footage into a narrative featuring actress Barbara Baxley as a lonely woman wandering the city and sharing insufferably pretentious voice-over with Gary Merrill (pompously billed as "The Poet") make the film a chore to endure.
I enjoy seeing this kind of footage, showing me how a city I love looked in another age, but the grandstanding voice-over is a deal breaker. Except for the disturbing faith-healer sequence, which is the only portion of the film to use sync sound, this is a movie best enjoyed with the volume turned down and some good music playing, maybe a little jazz from the era.
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