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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Female Animal (1958)

When a glamorous movie star (Hedy Lamarr) is rescued from a falling light on a movie set by a background actor (George Nader), she finds herself attracted to him. She offers him a job as a caretaker at her beach house. He finds himself attracted to a young girl (Jane Powell) who lives life in the fast lane. But he's unaware she's the movie star's daughter! This B&W melodrama wants to be torrid but its screenplay is substandard. The most interesting aspect of the film is the mother/daughter relationship and sharing the same lover. But unlike THE GRADUATE or MILDRED PIERCE, it's not developed fully but used more for titillation than anything else. Granted the writing just isn't there but poor Hedy Lamarr (still looking great at 44) can't even manage the simplest of lines with any believability. Powell in a rare dramatic role fares better until she gets to a drunk scene and then she's just awful and Nader does his acting by taking his shirt off. Best of all is Jan Sterling as a bitter washed up film star who manages to walk off with the movie. This would be Lamarr's last film role. Directed by Harry Keller. With James Gleason, Ann Doran, Jerry Paris, Mabel Albertson, Gregg Palmer and Max Showalter.

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