A commander receives a citation for an attack on Rommel's headquarters, which is actually undeserved as the commander is unfit for his job. On top of that, unbeknownst to him, his wife is having an affair with one of his officers.
Stephen Torino (Wilde), who is tricked by his brother Marco (Adler) into an arranged marriage with tempestuous Annie Caldash (Russell). Annie is willing to give the union a go, but Torino wants none of it.
The most complete, newly restored version of Nicholas Ray's experimental masterpiece embodies the director's practice of film-making as a "communal way of life." Ray plays himself in the ... See full summary »
Lawyer Thomas Farrell has made a career defending crooks in trials. He has never realized that there is a downside to his success, until he meets the dancer Vicki Gayle. She makes him decide to get a better reputation. But mob king Rico Angelo *insists* that he continues his services.Written by
This film did well at the box office, earning MGM a profit of $454,000 ($3.83M in 2017) according to studio records. This film pulled in a higher gross overseas than in the USA and Canada, a rare event for the time. See more »
Although the film is set in the early Thirties, the hairstyles, fashions, interior decoration, and choreography are in the style of the Fifties. At one point Lee J Cobb calls Cyd Charisse a "chick," a slang term not used until the Forties. See more »
Only a man... how do you do it Vicki?
I made up my mind a long time ago, never get crowded into a corner. Never let them get too close. After awhile, they go away.
You've never been in their corner, with your looks?
Just once. In a dark and dirty little barn back home in Oklahoma. I was fifteen. Very romantic.
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Opening credits prologue: Chicago In The Early Thirties See more »
A Film Noir/Romance/Non-Musical Musical Set in a 1930s that Looks Like the 1950s
I wasn't surprised to read that director Nicholas Ray was allowed little creative control of "Party Girl." His sensibilities peek through here and there, but it's more of an MGM film than Nicholas Ray's. The movie is set in the 1930s, but it looks like the 1950s. It's been called a film noir, but it looks like a musical—a musical with no music, though leading lady Cyd Charisse (the titular party girl Vicki) gets a couple dance numbers. A large portion of the movie bogs down on Charisse's relationship with a reluctant mob lawyer (Robert Taylor), at which point "Party Girl" turns into a romantic melodrama. Then in the final act it once again becomes a crime film.
"Party Girl" is fairly gripping when it focuses on its seedier elements — some of the violence is startlingly bloody for its day — but it's hampered by the tonal shifts. The script, as other reviewers have pointed out, has more than a few ludicrous moments, like a "miracle" surgery and some unrealistic beliefs about how the justice system operates. The acting is fairly solid, especially by Taylor and Lee J. Cobb, as mob boss Rico Angelo. John Ireland and Corey Allen also make strong impressions in their roles as sleazy, hot-tempered hoods. For me, the weakest performance is from Charisse. She's beautiful and she's got the legs, but I found her performance a little stilted (according to a review by critic Glenn Erickson, Charisse resisted being directed by Ray). I kept thinking if you dropped the dancing, Ida Lupino or Ray's ex Gloria Grahame would've been more interesting choices for the role of Vicki (though understandably there are reasons why Grahame would never be hired). All and all, "Party Girl" is notable for some effective scenes and performances, but it's one of Nicholas Ray's lesser films.
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