6.7/10
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49 user 23 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 »
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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
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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:

A WOMAN OF BEAUTY...who wielded ruthless power over men! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the story takes place in San Francisco, the oft-mentioned town of Santa Flora is fictional. See more »

Quotes

Nick Bradley: [to Christabel] I don't make dates with other men's wives unless they bring written permission from their husbands.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

Joan Fontaine is the classic lovely manipulator
17 February 2000 | by Old_AbeSee all my reviews

If you've enjoyed Joan Fontaine's endearing performances in REBECCA or SUSPICION, check out this movie for an entirely different turn of character.

Joan plays Christabel, a woman with nice curves who's got all the angles, too. She's a classic manipulator, and the fun of the movie is watching her try to keep up her false appearances as she runs recklessly through the lives around her -- society friends, sick relatives, a thin-mustached rich playboy, and the rugged novelist guy who sees through her and loves her still.

The performance is one of shifting eyes, deceptive wheels turning inside the lovely Christabel's head, trying to recall which lie she told to whom. Fontaine retains a sense of mystery about her, because you keep wondering to what end is all this manipulation, anyway -- does Christabel even know? A consummate liar, she also remains a bit sympathetic through it all: you get the sense of someone who has played so many contradictory roles that she's kind of a lost soul.

As for the story itself, it's pretty good; and the supporting characters are merely okay. But really, they're just pins set up for Christabel to upset. Sit back and watch her go.

So, if you're like me and wanted to reach out and protect Joan in her Hitchcock movies, try BORN TO BE BAD. She's just as lovely (those doe-eyes will make you want to believe her) -- only hold onto your heart, and your wallet.


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