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The most complete, newly restored version of Nicholas Ray's experimental masterpiece embodies the director's practice of film-making as a "communal way of life." Ray plays himself in the ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Nicholas Ray's career remains unique in its peaks and valleys, but his work has never been dull. Even A WOMAN'S SECRET stirs memories, notably from the performance of his then-wife Gloria Grahame. BORN TO BE BAD is an "almost" -- its depiction of the New York theatrical lifestyle on on-target, down to the living quarters. And its characters ring true. Still, the plot, if taken apart, is a muddle in the middle. Nonetheless, Ray has provided strong mise en scene, and offered an underrated star like JOAN LESLIE an opportunity to show how truthful and relaxed a performer she was. Her performance is almost equalled by that of MEL FERRER as the "probably-gay" character. In her role, JOAN FONTAINE, an excellent actress, is able to convey the seven-faced facets of a woman who misuses friendships, romance, and opportunity... all for her benefit. ROBERT RYAN, as ever, offers a solid performance though his character is far less defined. and ZACHARY SCOTT does well too. Ray's use of camera angles, lighting, etal. may seem commonplace, but there is careful use of everything involved. But what is remembered, when all is said and done, is the work of JOAN LESLIE as the put-upon fiance. It is performances like hers that are ignored... but that are enormously difficult to bring across accurately. Hers is the pilot light that keeps BORN TO BE BAD intriguing.
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