“There’s usually one who loves, and one who is loved.”
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this role “made such an impression because it was conceived and played in such an original manner” by Davis, given that her Mildred “isn’t especially pretty… or alluring” and “isn’t smart or knowledgeable”. He points out that she “is not a vamp, she is just cheap, stupid, and shallow” — which is precisely why Howard’s relentless obsession with her is so fascinating. As Peary argues, Philip “hates himself for being a cripple… [and] Mildred is his punishment”. Indeed, Davis’s Mildred is a unique variation on a femme fatale: she’s clearly Philip’s undoing, yet he’s almost entirely responsible for their continued dysfunctional “relationship”. She could genuinely care less about him, but — almost to her own surprise — he continues to make himself available to her time and again; and so, as an inveterate manipulator, she takes easy advantage. Theirs is a morbidly fascinating dynamic — not one I find pleasant to watch, but certainly one film fanatics should see at least once.
Note: Peary ends his review by stating he’s “never seen a film in which so many letters are read” — really? That’s somehow hard to imagine.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
Posted on November 15th, 2013 by admin
Filed under: Response Reviews