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Jane Bandle has recently married, but Bill, her husband's brother, tries to wreck her marriage because Jane rejected his sexual advances before her marriage.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Yikes!! Where does one begin? I bought the new DVD of this movie, just watched it, and now have chosen it as the worst film I've ever seen, with all due respects to former title holder Ed Wood. In fact, this movie has about the same level of production artistry and skill of a typical Wood epic. It's truly amazing. A pure fiasco on every level! Especially story and acting, with the sole exception of the unsinkable Agnes Moorehead who couldn't give a bad performance if they tied her up and gave her sleeping pills.
Ironically, I've waited years to finally see this film. A great admirer and fan of the incomparable classic film composer Max Steiner, I found that this was one of his few films that I was never able to see. I was always curious why he was loaned out from WB to score this minor forgotten film when he was at the zenith of his power and popularity in 1949 - having just composed for "Johnny Belinda", "Key Largo", "Treasure of Sierra Madre", "The Fountainhead", and "Don Juan" - all scores which entered film history.
Why did he go score this meager independent effort? I suspect that the director was a good friend of his and after the film was put together everyone saw what a disaster it was and believed that Steiner could achieve a true miracle and save the movie by putting his glorious music to this awful mess.
I never thought I'd ever admit this, but Steiner's score absolutely destroys the film. Perhaps after paying his astronomical loan-out fee from Warners, the producers insisted on getting their money's worth with a wall-to-wall thundering score. I'd hate to think it was Max's choice. But this film desperately needed just an ounce of subtle music here and there to make it more realistic and believable - and Steiner unfortunately scores it like a Wagnerian opera. I came across the sound track years ago and it was one of my favorites - vibrant, melodic, passionate epic music. At the time I had no idea what the plot of the film was and could only conjure the most epic images of car chases, train crashes, exotic locales - possibly a trip to Chinatown. When I finally read that the whole thing takes place in a bungalow in the San Fernando Valley I couldn't believe it. And watching the movie I was horrified to see that the surging, thunderous, throbbing passages that I thought was probably a thrilling chase culminating in a spectacular train crash was simply Laraine Day walking into her bedroom and sitting down at her vanity table and putting on lipstick! Poor Max! Poor movie! A dull, nothing plot. One tired cliché after another. Ridiculously motivated characters, acting badly as they chew up the drab scenery. Just a preposterous mess that can't be explained. Top talent all around. First-rate director, acclaimed writer, filmdom's greatest composer, a photographer (Lionel Lindon) who had shot some of Paramount's finest hits and would a few years later cap his career with an Oscar for Mike Todd's "Around the World in Eighty Days" - and this ultra cheap, crummy-looking movie is the result. A true aberation and unique disaster of film-making history. See this with a friend - you'l laugh yourselves sick.
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