Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.
Kathy is a smart and tough 1950's advice columnist at a San Francisco newspaper, with her name plastered on billboards all over the city. One day, Bill Doyle, a Los Angeles detective, walks into her office - it is instant attraction. After marrying Bill, Kathy gives up her career and becomes a homemaker. However, she is not your typical 1950's homemaker. After hosting several cocktail parties in their San Fernando Valley home, she realizes that Bill is content with his position, and shows no ambition in furthering himself. Kathy will not sit idly by while everyone around her is "moving up in the world". She personally takes upon herself the task of pushing Bill's career along, even if it comes down to murder.Written by
The car Kathy drives is a 1951 Ford Custom De Luxe convertible. With the optional V-8 engine and automatic transmission, in excellent condition this car could fetch upwards of $50,000 at auction in 2017. See more »
When Kathy calls Alice from the phone booth and hears she is leaving for Honolulu, the reflection of the cameraman is seen all through the scene on the back window of the booth (above left Kathy's head), and it moves as the camera pulls back. See more »
No dear, you said, "Bill, you better go right out and get your lunch because I've just driven up Mrs. Pole's telephone pope".
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None Too Steamy
For a movie with the word passion in the title this modest 1957 noir wannabe never builds up a head of steam. It tells the tale of a successful San Francisco Dear Abby-type columnist who inexplicably falls in love with a taciturn, unambitious police officer from Los Angeles. After a whirlwind romance, these two lovebirds settle down to a life of dull domesticity in L.A. Though the woman has given up her writing career, she soon finds that she's too intelligent and ambitious to be a housewife. She encourages her husband to seek advancement in the police department, but politics isn't his thing. He likes being where he is. Rather than do the smart thing, and return to writing, the woman becomes a meddler, and in time gets into deep personal doo-doo.
There's nothing in this movie that hasn't been done before and better. It doesn't feel like an independent production from the late fifties but rather like an RKO thriller from six or seven years earlier. And not one of the better ones. Director Gerd Oswald has proved himself elsewhere to be at times a superb craftsman, but Jo Eisingers by the numbers script conspire with mediocre production values to defeat him. And down he goes. What makes the movie somewhat watchable is the acting. Barbara Stanwyck gives her all to the role of a career woman who, though smart enough, maybe lacks the experience to see that the average joe she falls for, though amiable in his gruff way, is simply not the man for her. I find her performance believable. As her hubby, the towering Sterling Hayden, he of the sullen expression and morose, inexplicably angry line readings, is likewise okay, though I sense that he's not always focused on his acting. I've seen him do tighter work. In a smaller but pivotal role Raymond Burr is his usual polite, somewhat impassive, inscrutable self, bringing authority and, well, weight, to his role as Hayden's superior. Interestingly, all three performers were nearing the end of a particular phase of his career. Stanwyck was soon to quit movies for television, and when she returned it was as a character actress. Hayden was just about to quit movies, too, though like Stanwyck he would go on to interesting things later. And Burr was soon to triumph on television as Perry Mason, leaving behind a decade's worth of good character work in film, of which this is one of the last examples.
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