Search This Blog

Friday, May 30, 2014

Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)

A good time gal (Rita Hayworth) with a dubious past is stuck on a Samoan island (actually the island of Kauai in Hawaii) when the ship she's sailing on gets quarantined for Typhus. A marine (Aldo Ray) starts to romance her but a religious fanatic (Jose Ferrer) takes it upon himself to reform her from her immoral life. The W. Somerset Maugham short story had seen (at least) two other film versions prior to this one. Gloria Swanson in 1928 and Joan Crawford in 1932. By this time, the story had been gutted and cleaned up to appease the censors. Ferrer's character isn't even a clergyman anymore, he's just a religious zealot and Hayworth is a "singer" who got in with the wrong people. Hayworth was in her mid 30s about this time and frankly, she looked 40-ish. But this actually works in her favor, it gives her performance a certain sadness and poignancy. An aging party girl whose options are beginning to dry up. The dour faced Ferrer has at last found a role that fits him like a glove. Three musical sequences have been added to the film but only one kills it, Hayworth's sizzling rendition of The Heat Is On! Directed by Curtis Bernhardt and originally show in 3D. With Charles Bronson, Harry Bellaver and Russell Collins.

No comments:

Post a Comment