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The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)

Approved | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 1 October 1955 (USA)
The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing is the true story of Evelyn Nesbit (Dame Joan Collins), a beautiful showgirl caught in a love triangle with elderly architect Stanford White (Ray Milland) and eccentric young millionaire Harry K. Thaw (Farley Granger).


Richard Fleischer




Complete credited cast:
Ray Milland ... Stanford White
Joan Collins ... Evelyn Nesbit
Farley Granger ... Harry K. Thaw
Luther Adler ... Delphin Delmas
Cornelia Otis Skinner ... Mrs. Thaw
Glenda Farrell ... Mrs. Nesbit
Frances Fuller ... Elizabeth White
Phillip Reed ... Robert Collier (as Philip Reed)
Gale Robbins ... Gwen Arden
James Lorimer James Lorimer ... McCaleb
John Hoyt ... William Jerome
Robert F. Simon ... Stage Manager (as Robert Simon)
Harvey Stephens ... Dr. Hollingshead
Emile Meyer ... Hunchbacher


It's the early twentieth century New York City. There exists a high level of animosity by Harry K. Thaw (Farley Granger), a wealthy Pittsburgh businessman, toward renowned architect Stanford White (Ray Milland) for Harry feeling those dealing with the New York City and social set giving Stanford many of the perks that should rightfully have gone to him. While Stanford is mature and refined, Harry is brash, impetuous, and volatile. That animosity is ratcheted up a notch when they both meet Evelyn Nesbit (Dame Joan Collins), a beautiful but poor model with whom they are both infatuated, she appearing in the chorus of her first Broadway musical revue. After getting to know Evelyn, married Stanford, who still loves his wife and thus will not divorce her, wants nonetheless to provide Evelyn with the comforts and breeding of those within his social circle. His infatuation with her is also despite he being old enough to be her father. Harry, who is more age appropriate, takes a more direct ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


THE RISE - THE FALL of the most beautiful Floradora chorine from penniless model to mistress of $40,000,000


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Did You Know?


Marilyn Monroe was Twentieth Century Fox's original choice for the role of Evelyn Nesbit. She turned down this movie, as well as a planned remake of Wabash Avenue (1950) titled "The Girl in Pink Tights" (which was to co-star Dan Dailey and Mitzi Gaynor). As a result, she was put on suspension. Sheree North was then announced as her replacement for both movies until Dame Joan Collins was eventually cast as Nesbit. "The Girl in Pink Tights" project was eventually abandoned. See more »


In a scene in a restaurant near the beginning of the movie, architect Stanford White receives a copy of Collier's magazine with a drawing of Evelyn Nesbit on the cover, drawn by Charles Dana Gibson. The scene takes place in 1901, but the famous drawing was not created by Gibson until 1905. See more »


Mrs. Nesbit: I've seen more tears run down the pretty faces than the plain ones.
See more »


Referenced in Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) See more »


Men, Men, Men
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Ken Darby
Sung on-stage by the theater ensemble
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User Reviews

Let it go...
30 April 2008 | by eamon_holleySee all my reviews

God, I've read the reviews.

I know I'll be lambasted for accusing amateur critics for being totally rubbish. BUT can any one get to the realization that this movie (made in 1955) was based on real people with real lives over 100 years ago (as I write - 1 May 2008!!).

That is amazing in it itself - Let's let a few things go. The movie was made 49 years after the murder. I'm writing about it after 102 years - and it's still a great, and terribly sad story. Who could tell it now!? We think we're the first generation to be totally liberated with sex scenes. We're so smart that we watch Sex in the City (and the amazing swing scene). However, this movie was made in 1955 and is based upon a very real and very sad story. Evelyn Nesbit was one of the first and greatest Hollywood actresses - up until 1930 she and others like her were sometimes freely allowed a sexuality that is still, to this day, considered sometimes pornographic.

However, regarding this movie and (real) story in particular, what is most amazing is how a small town beauty in the first decade of the 1900's (correct - 100 years ago) allowed herself to be caught between two powerful men (infact there was a third - actually in the middle - John Barrymore) and that her life eventually became a Hollywood thriller. Only in the United States of America.

Good God! Elizabeth Nesbit was 16 when she met the 47 year old Mr. Standford White - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Nesbit. She was a "silent actress" - never made a speaking role in her life. However perhaps she was the first sell out. She was special adviser to this film... why wouldn't she be - she was central to it. She IS it!!! But even by 1930 (yet alone 1955) Evelyn Nesbit was a total has been. According to Wikipedia, largely because of her third husband - the Mr.Thaw that killed Mr. White - her opportunities to act as the "Vamp" she once had, ended. The reason Thaw fell in love with her was the very reason she couldn't act on the screen that made her a 20th Century legend. Looking back however, even if the transition from the movies to the talkies allowed it (and it rarely did), Evelyn was always going to be something from a by-gone age - "The Vamp" - a segment from the curiosity shop - the "silents" - and, allegedly, a witness to a murder of a former lover - in a time when men still wore spats, and top hats and long tails... It all seems so romantic now - except that this was real, 102 years ago a man was shot in the face for love or lust or jealousy, somebody actually was really murdered. I doubt it was romantic - in any way, shape or form.

What do you think - would a 2008 version do these people and especially Evelyn Nesbit more justice, or should we just let people rest? After all in 1955 the story was only 49 years old...

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English | French

Release Date:

1 October 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints)| Mono (optical prints)


Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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