A young woman struggling with a sordid past finds that her biggest enemy had larger demons than she did.A young woman struggling with a sordid past finds that her biggest enemy had larger demons than she did.A young woman struggling with a sordid past finds that her biggest enemy had larger demons than she did.
Anna Lucasta is a prostitute banished from her home by her father. It's never made clear which came first; did she become a prostitute due to being thrown out of the house at an early age, or did she do something to shame the father? If the story she tells her potential fiancée is to be believed, then her hotheaded, bible thumping, vaguely incestuous father seems to have more than a few screws loose.
After several years Anna returns to the fold when there appears a chance the family can marry her off to a rich family friend. One can see how Anna might look at this as just another form of prostitution, but the film strains credibility when we are asked to listen to all the family members (the decent ones that Anna shamed) debate over the best ways to get the suitor's money by "selling" Anna to him. The moral tone of the film takes a big shift.
Once Anna returns home and does a bang-up job of sweeping the young man off his feet on her own, the film bogs down in one too many scenes of the REALLY annoying father (Rex Ingram) having sweaty, bug eyed fits.
To me, this father character is an enigma. He is cruel and brutal and downright evil and yet Eartha Kitt's character is made to grovel for his approval every second. And what are we to make of his lustful looks at Anna that turn into rages? His outbursts are so off the wall (and over acted) that they truly try your patience. I have never wished for a character to have a heart attack so much.
Filling out the plot is sailor/cab driver Sammy Davis Jr who is fine but seems too slight for the filled-out Eartha. She looks like she can pick him up and haul him over her shoulder.
Though I find the film enjoyable and catch it whenever it's on TV, many of the performances are a tad overripe and the 50's moralizing gets to be a bit much.
Makes a nice companion piece to "St Louis Blues," another Eartha Kitt film that features a loony, moralizing father character.
- Aug 3, 2005