“Let’s put it this way: I need you, Tommy. You’re my boy, like a son. You walk out on me now, what happens to poor Rico?”
A lawyer (Robert Taylor) working for a Chicago gangster (Lee J. Cobb) falls in love with a showgirl (Cyd Charisse) and tries to leave the mob; but he soon finds that this isn’t as easy as he thought.
Party Girl is a disappointing entry in Nicholas Ray’s otherwise impressive oeuvre. Despite high production values, fine performances by the leads (especially Cobb), a couple of fun dance numbers by Charisse, and occasional moments of directorial ingenuity, the film is ultimately hampered by an uninteresting script which covers material trodden many times over. Taylor’s character (a savvy, successful lawyer) should know better than to assume he can simply leave his life with the mob behind him; and when things go wrong for both him and his new love (Charisse), it’s hard to feel either much compassion or curiosity about what will happen next.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Lee J. Cobb as the cigar-chomping kingpin, Rico
No. Although Ray does a competent job with the material he’s given, this is not among his best work.