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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Lucy Gallant (1955)

In 1941 Texas, the oil boom is at its height in a small town that will soon become a big town. A stranded New Yorker (Jane Wyman) sees an opportunity to build her own empire in fashion even though a local rancher (Charlton Heston) is more interested in making her his Mrs. Based on the novel LIFE OF LUCY GALLANT by Margaret Cousins and directed by Robert Parrish (CRY DANGER), this is an uneasy mixture of Edna Ferber (think GIANT) and a glossy Ross Hunter Universal production (it's Paramount film). For two hours, we're subjected to the "will they or won't they" plot but there's an unpleasant undertaste. This being the mid 50s, an independent unmarried woman building a successful career is still looked upon as some sort of freak for not having a man. The film's ending is ambiguous but at least Wyman's performance suggests that it will take more than being a housewife to make her happy. With Claire Trevor, Thelma Ritter (looking quite glamorous for a change), William Demarest, Gloria Talbott, Wallace Ford, Tom Helmore, Mary Field and as her self, Edith Head.

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