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).
Three performers for six roles: this is the game of the film. A melodrama about two love triangles. In the first, Hagalin is killed by his mistress and her lover. In the second, attorney ... See full summary »
An idealistic rookie cop joins the L.A.P.D. to make ends meet while finishing law school, and is indoctrinated by a seasoned veteran. As time goes on, he loses his ambitions and family as police work becomes his entire life.
George C. Scott,
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
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 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 »
First some truths and then a review of the film itself.
Evelyn Nesbit, from my own impressions of her recent bio, American Eve, and a clip of her singing from 1930, was a coarse, cheap, nearly talentless beauty of 1906 - all this faded by 1930, when she looked quite plain and homely. Stanford White was obese, a womanizer and a trafficker in underage virgins. Harry Thaw was a madman, pure and simple, protected by his wealth. He also was quite plain and homely. Evelyn's mother was also a trafficker, for her daughter - she makes GYPSY's Madame Rose look like Melanie Hamilton.
Hollywood could not have produced a film true to the characters in 1955. It would never have passed the censors. You didn't touch motherhood then. GYPSY on stage was four years later.
Given the basic narrative structure of the facts, and allowing for Hollywood's restrictions, THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING is for me an excellent filmization of this narrative. Beautifully photographed and given sumptuous production design as well as excellent casting, it stands as a very interesting "take" on the "crime of the century."
I applaud it and its makers. For something truer to the original characters, visit the segments in RAGTIME devoted to this story. Elizabeth McGovern's turn as the passive, dim-witted Evelyn is much truer to the real woman and deservedly brought her an Ocar nomination.
Shame on the Academy for denying it any noms- it deserved recognition in the Cinematography, Art Direction and Costume Design categories. Farley Granger gives his best performance as the deranged Thaw. Glenda Farrell as Mrs. Nesbit also deserved consideration in the supporting category.
Interesting to note that the love theme is a blatant steal from Max Steiner's Melanie and Ashley love theme in GONE WITH THE WIND, borrowing the first two stanzas of that theme.
If they ever film the bisexual Granger's fascinating life, consider Michael Ellison, the sensitive young actor of THE BEST MEN - a look alike with hidden depths.
Do see THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING and RAGTIME in succession to get an overall impression of this fascinating triangle.
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