“I want you to get this straight once and for all: you’re not going to give up your career!”
When former singer Marian Washburn (Maureen O’Hara) confesses to shooting her young protegee (Gloria Grahame), Marion’s pianist-friend (Melvyn Douglas) tries to convince police detective Jim Fowler (Jay C. Flippen) that she’s lying.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Criminal Investigation
- Flashback Films
- Gloria Grahame Films
- Maureen O’Hara Films
- Melvyn Douglas Films
- Nicholas Ray Films
This melodramatic flashback film — written by Citizen Kane‘s Herman Mankiewicz, and directed by Nicholas Ray — bears a vague resemblance to All About Eve (1950) in its tale of quibbling mentor/protegee, but is ultimately much less satisfying: because the characters (particularly O’Hara) are underdeveloped, we never quite believe or understand their motivations, and the entire narrative drifts along without much defining energy. Fortunately, O’Hara and Douglas are both fine (albeit unexceptional) in their roles, and Grahame gives a typically eccentric performance as loopy Susan — though it’s undeniably strange to hear her dubbed voice (in real life, she was tone deaf) crooning beautiful melodies. I was most impressed by Edward Stevenson’s lovely gowns; both leading ladies look gorgeous in them.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Gloria Grahame as Susan
- Jay C. Flippen as droll Inspector Fowler
- Edward Stevenson’s gowns
No, but it’s worth viewing once.