The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing is the true story of Evelyn Nesbit Shaw, a beautiful showgirl caught in a love triangle with elderly architect Stanford White and eccentric young millionaire Harry K. Thaw.
Marsha Mitchell, a traveling dress model, stops in a southern town to see her sister who has married a Ku Klux Klansman. Marsha sees the KKK commit a murder and helps District Attorney Burt Rainey in bringing the criminals to justice.
It's the early twentieth century New York City. There exists a high level of animosity by Harry Thaw, a wealthy Pittsburgh businessman, toward renowned architect Stanford White for Harry feeling those dealing with the New York 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, a beautiful but poor model with who 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 approach in his pursuit of Evelyn, he doing whatever to convince ...Written by
Marilyn Monroe was 20th Century-Fox's original choice for the role of Evelyn Nesbit. She turned down this film, as well as a planned remake of Wabash Avenue (1950) entitled '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 films until Joan Collins was eventually cast as Nesbit. 'The Girl in Pink Tights' project was eventually abandoned. See more »
In a restaurant scene near the beginning of the film, architect Stanford White castigates a magazine editor for not including in an article about him the Boston Public Library, which he calls "the best thing I ever did." White's partner, Charles Follen McKim designed the Boston Public Library, not White. See more »
Richard Fleischer remains one of the most underrated of the American directors.His influence is huge,particularly in Europa:Chabrol's last movie "La Fille Coupée En Deux" is a disguised remake of "girl on the red velvet swing" -and not nearly so good.His movies dealing with criminal affairs are all interesting and form,in spite of their differences ,a well-knit group:"Follow me quietly" "Compulsion" "Crack in the mirror" and his more accomplished works "Boston strangler" and " 10 Rillington PLace" ."The girl on the red velvet swing" ,in spite of its costume drama side,belongs to the genre too.We're told since the beginning it's a criminal affair.The title is a transparent metaphor:Evelyn is not only caught between two men;she is a proletarian ,close to French writer Colette's "Gigi" in the world of the wealthy and the mighty.One of her men doesn't want to divorce and to marry her ,not because she is young enough to be his daughter but because the world he lives in is not prepared to accept such a monstrous union.If she were a rich heiress ,the daughter of one his rich customers who have him built desirable mansions ,all would be forgiven .And if the girl marries a millionaire ,it's only because he is impotent ,under an over possessive mother's thumb :in an amazing scene the mother recognizes the facts.People who know Mankiewicz's "The barefoot Contessa" will notice the similarities between the two "rich" marriages .
Like Max Ophuls' "Lola Montès" ,when her family-in -law denies her,it only remains for her to make a spectacle of herself in a theater ,a place she should never have left.The two scenes in which the girl is on the swing are the most impressive ,with a dazzling camera:there's something disturbing in the first one,when the girl asks for the moon (true and figurative sense)..But "it's only a paper moon sailing over a cardboard sea...it's only a canvas sky..hanging over a muslin tree"
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