Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dvd/150: FEMALE ON THE BEACH (Joseph Pevney, 1955)

Ten years after winning her Academy Award for MILDRED PIERCE, Joan Crawford was still a star but the films ranged in quality over that era.

A dip in the early 50s changed with an Oscar nomination for her woman-in-peril in SUDDEN FEAR in 1952 and this theme was revisited three years later in Universal's FEMALE ON THE BEACH.

Joan always gave full-on performances but with a bad script she looks too obvious - in FOTB she reminds you of Scott Fitzgerald's remark about her not being able to change emotions without "Jekyll and Hyde facial contortions".

Rich widow Lynn Markham moves into a beach house owned by her husband only to find the former tenant died falling from the balcony - imperious Lynn comes into contact with house agent Jan Sterling, gamblers Cecil Kellaway and Natalie Schaefer, and charming but feckless sailor Jeff Chandler - but is one a killer?

Shelf or charity shop? I think this will live in DVD limbo (kept in a paper sleeve and in a plastic storage box)...  I am sure I will want to see Joan waltzing through this hokum again in either Dior new look frocks or showing off her legs in shorts!

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