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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Third Girl From The Left (1973)

An aging chorus girl (Kim Novak) in a New York nightclub becomes tired of her boyfriend (Tony Curtis) of thirteen years constantly postponing their marriage. When the owner (Louis Guss) of the club takes her out of the front line of the chorus and puts her in the back, it precipitates a crisis and she begins an affair with a much younger man (Michael Brandon, LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS). Written by the songwriter Dory Previn (VALLEY OF THE DOLLS) and directed by Peter Medak (THE RULING CLASS), this is a rather banal effort. The only reason it resonates at all is because of Kim Novak. An aging actress, who was once one of the top stars in America and now with a floundering career, now playing an aging chorus girl losing her looks and getting pushed to the back of the dance line. The parallels are more than coincidental, they're intentional. Novak acquits herself nicely but Curtis, who's cast as a Dean Martin type lounge singer, goes for the obvious and it doesn't help that when he sings (he's not dubbed), he's pitifully off key. As written, he's also a jerk. Are we really supposed to feel good when she ends up with him? With George Furth and Barbi Benton.

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