6.7/10
1,929
50 user 25 critic

Born to Be Bad (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 31 August 1950 (USA)
A woman's attempt to appear innocent and sweet clashes with her lover who sees through her act and the wealthy man she tries to trick into marrying her.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writers:

Edith Sommer (screen play), Charles Schnee (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Fontaine ... Christabel
Robert Ryan ... Nick
Zachary Scott ... Curtis
Joan Leslie ... Donna
Mel Ferrer ... Gobby
Harold Vermilyea ... John Caine
Virginia Farmer ... Aunt Clara
Kathleen Howard ... Mrs. Bolton
Dick Ryan Dick Ryan ... Arthur
Bess Flowers ... Mrs. Worthington
Joy Hallward Joy Hallward ... Mrs. Porter
Hazel Boyne Hazel Boyne ... Committee Woman
Irving Bacon ... Jewelry Salesman
Gordon Oliver ... The Lawyer
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Failed singer Marian Washburn confesses she shot her friend, successful singer Susan Caldwell, but her manager Luke Jordan and Detective Fowler doubt her story and cannot establish a reasonable motive.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Melvyn Douglas, Gloria Grahame
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An attorney defends a hoodlum of murder, using the oppressiveness of the slums to appeal to the court.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, John Derek, George Macready
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
The Racket (1951)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In New York, two honest cops try to hinder a crime syndicate from moving into the precinct and also to prevent the mob's plan of electing a corrupt prosecutor to a judgeship.

Directors: John Cromwell, Mel Ferrer, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, Robert Ryan
Nora Prentiss (1947)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A nightclub singer inspires a doctor to fake his own murder, leading to plenty of complications.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Kent Smith, Bruce Bennett
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Los Angeles socialite kills a man while home alone one night and claims he was an intruder she did not know. It seems like a clear case of self defense until the story hits the papers and people connected to the dead man come forward.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Lew Ayres, Zachary Scott
Hot Blood (1956)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Stephen Torino (Wilde), who is tricked by his brother Marco (Adler) into an arranged marriage with tempestuous Annie Caldash (Russell). Annie is willing to give the union a go, but Torino wants none of it.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Jane Russell, Cornel Wilde, Luther Adler
Certificate: Passed Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Social worker tries to befriend local slum gang.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: John Cassavetes, Sal Mineo, James Whitmore
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva
Side Street (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A struggling young father-to-be gives in to temptation and impulsively steals money from the office of a shady lawyer - with catastrophic consequences.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig
Danger Signal (1945)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A very romantic murderer has plans to seduce, marry and kill a beautiful woman for her wealth, but finds her younger sister to be even better prey.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Faye Emerson, Zachary Scott, Richard Erdman
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An arrogant mobster, sentenced to a long prison term in Sing Sing, becomes a changed man when given a chance by the fair and progressive warden.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: John Garfield, Ann Sheridan, Pat O'Brien
Edit

Storyline

Christabel fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna's wealthy fiancée Curtis. The only one who sees through her facade is Nick, a rugged writer who loves her anyway. Christabel also loves Nick, but she loves Curtis' money more. After convincing Curtis that Donna is only interested in him for his money, she tricks Curtis into marrying her. Of course, she still dallies with Nick on the side. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Women hated her...but men DESIRED her! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Cadillac is a 1948 Series 62 convertible coupe. See more »

Goofs

When Christabel returns home to the Carey estate after being with her lover; she opens the door and enters as the butler is approaching to let her in. Normally in such a large estate especially with the owners away; the entrance door would be lock. But the butler did not get to let her in nor did she use her key. At the end of the film Christabel surrenders her key to Gobby which proves that she indeed had a key to the house. See more »

Quotes

Gabriel 'Gobby' Broome: I want you to invest in something terrific.
Curtis: Invest in what?
Gabriel 'Gobby' Broome: In me, of course. I want to have a one-man show late this summer. August, maybe. It'll cost about 500 dollars. But what's money?
Curtis: Mine or yours?
Gabriel 'Gobby' Broome: Yours, of course. I have none.
Curtis: [smiling] Well, don't be so smug about it.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #7.13 (1973) See more »

User Reviews

 
Sweet young thing wreaks havoc
3 February 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Joan Fontaine plays a real conniver hiding beneath a soft exterior in "Born to Be Bad," also starring Robert Ryan, Zachary Scott, Mel Ferrer, and Joan Leslie. Fontaine is Christabel, a young woman from the poor side of the family who comes to town to work for her Uncle John once his assistant (Leslie) has married a wealthy, eligible bachelor Curtis (Scott). Fontaine sets her sights on the big money right away but finds herself in the heavy clinches with an author (Ryan) who's in love with her. She's reminiscent in her way of a non-show biz Eve Harrington.

Using her soft voice and all that gossamer femininity, Christabel manages, with an innuendo here, an innuendo there, a suggestion here, a hint there - to totally break up the engaged couple and drive Joan Leslie right out of town. Since Christabel has dropped out of business school, her uncle says she can't work for him and needs to return home. In a panic, she throws herself at Curtis at a ball and wins him. The question then is, what did she win? What did he lose? This potboiler was directed by Nicholas Ray, and I have to believe the man had a sense of humor. Otherwise, how do you account for those love scenes? Every time a man went to kiss Fontaine, he swept her around and dipped her, nearly breaking her neck as the music crescendos. Then there were the shots of Joan, her face in a state of rapture, as she realized she was getting what she wanted. Very campy.

Joan Fontaine is excellent in the role, very sweet in the beginning but becoming austere after she marries Curtis. It's a subtle change but definitely demonstrates her acting ability. She looks lovely in a variety of gowns and dresses. Robert Ryan is extremely handsome in this, as well as charming, funny, and a real catch. His character sees right through Christabel but wants her anyway. The acting is uniformly good. Mel Ferrer plays an artist who also has Christabel's number and paints her portrait.

"Born to Be Bad" is fun to watch though it's certainly not Ray's best work. I do think one has to allow for the fact that he saw this as a real potboiler and directed it the way he did on purpose. If you can't beat 'em - and with this script, how could he - join 'em.

By the way, there's a mistake in the letter that Christabel leaves for Curtis.


29 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 50 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

All Kneeling See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed