- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Crazy Quilt Noir
Both stars' MGM swan song is a good example of what they call "creative differences." Ray is much better than the material and probably was interfered with by a studio becoming increasingly clueless about modern audience's expectations. Taylor is effective and provides the gravitas. Charisse is serviceable, mostly as a clotheshorse. It's a peculiar mix of MGM overwrought musical dance interludes and glossy/gritty gangster noir. The cinematography is sleek. Ray is known for setting the screen on fire, but he's hampered by a lackluster and confused storyline. It starts off well enough, but goes south with ridiculous turns like Taylor appealing to the jury by showing newspaper headlines about his defendant. Mistrial and possible disbarment anyone? Or, how about his leaving for a year in Europe to correct his disfigurement in the middle of the movie, even though she's already in love with him anyway? She also has a head snapping turn from cold and somewhat amoral woman to getting on her high horse, even shaming Taylor's mob lawyer into turning a new leaf. This is more for Ray fans wanting to check off another of his works, although less discerning movie fans might enjoy it.
Would've Been Better Without Stage Show
This could've and should've been so much better.That Taylor was aging,so what?That Cyd had been ill,glad she recovered.Lee J Cobb too loud,as usual,we're not in the cheap seats.
- Raymond Banacki
Nicholas Ray, Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse and MGM, what more could you ask for?
- Marianne Johnson
Being a dancer and seeing Cyd Charisse dancing is always a pleasure to watch......What a great set of "gams".....The movie itself was interesting but not quite my cup of tea. Not sure how to feel about Lee J Cobb, especially just watched him ON THE WATERFRONT......he didn't seem to be to interested in this part.......Robert Taylor was ok but I am sorry to say this film noir' just not for me. ......but I did like the color.Marianne Johnson
I can't believe MGM did this to Nick Ray
Where to start? There's so much wrong, it might be easier to say something good, but I can't think of anything. Charisse can dance, but she can't act, and I had to look up her age--36! She looks like she's in her 50's.. Robert Taylor was a poor choice, and the dyed, stark black hair aged him. The mustache was out of place. The women's clothes and hair styles were all wrong. Lee J. Cobb stunk. The sets were wrong, too. It seems like they tried to throw things together and hope for the best: they wanted Charisse dancing, in skimpy costumes, they wanted a complicated romance, they wanted bad guys, redemption, exotic locales and Technicolor--- what did they do--shuffle pages of various scripts and then demand that Nick Ray try to cobble together a coherent story? What a waste of his talent!
I'm totally mixed up...
- el debbo
about liking this or not. I did not like the storyline because the hoods were really super-unpleasant and there was too much violence or threatened violence for my taste. I really liked it, on the other hand, because Mr. Taylor is absolutely wonderful to look at and Cyd Charisse is easy on the eyes, too, especially in her stunning wardrobe. The production values are good. I liked all the dance numbers, some call them cheezy, I just see them as "of the era". So in sum, I'd watch it again, but during some parts I'd go make a Dagwood sandwich or somethin'...
Robert Taylor and Cyd Charisse sizzle on-screen
Robert Taylor and Cyd Charisse shine in this well-done gangster film directed by Nicholas Ray. The chemistry between Taylor and Charisse leaps off the screen. Romance, '30s mobster action, courtroom drama, gorgeous showgirls and Charisse's sexy, beautiful nightclub dancing are a great mix. The supporting cast is excellent. But handsome Robert Taylor falling in love with stunning Cyd Charisse clinched this movie for me. Highly recommend.
ROBERT TAYLOR AND CYD CHARISSE!
Robert Taylor and Cyd Charisse star in this entertaining MGM movie. Taylor plays a lawyer, employed by a notorious gangster. Whatever trouble his boss is involved in, it's Taylor's job to smooth it out. The gangster, played by Lee J. Cobb, isn't easy to work with, but both the money and the perks are good. So, the Robert Taylor character does what needs to be done. Along the way, he meets Cyd Charisse, who of course is working as a dancer in a nightclub run by the gangster. Before long, Taylor becomes involved with Charisse, despite the fact that he's married. Eventually, the pair try to escape Taylor's working relationship with the gangster, something that doesn't exactly go over very well with the Cobb character. Robert Taylor plays his part well, a bit reserved but considering that his character is the smart one of the group, it fits well. Interesting, this was Taylor's last film with MGM as a contract star. Taylor had long been one of the studio's top leading men, but it ended with this film. Cyd Charisse, another MGM contract player, as usual provided the sex appeal. Her character's personality is a bit quiet, but her dancing certainly isn't. The talented Charisse has several dancing numbers, done very well in this color film. Her Jazz style dancing contrasts well with the darker nature of this film. Lee J. Cobb is the gangster. I found his acting to be slightly over-the-top here, but his scenes with the reserved Taylor worked well. This film is set in the gangster-era 1930's, despite the movie's sets, fashion, music, and dance being clearly from the 1950's. However, it doesn't take away from the film. The movie has a solid music score, done by arranger Jeff Alexander, a 1950's Jazz score that works well with the few dance scenes. This is the type of film that if you're looking for things wrong with it, you'll find them. However, if you just want an entertaining MGM film with big stars, then it's a cool little film and a good watch.
a brand new (and very brief) genre
- don letta
Film noir in blazing color with lots of cheesy dance numbers... Yea, I don't get it either.A small credit for the designer who came up with the women's thirties-fifties fashions, but were small-time hoofers bedecked in furs and jewels at that time? Cyd Clarisse displays how truly limited she was, and her dancing was embarrassing. The watch gimmick was fun, but not enough to save this turkey. Warner's could have done it better in the thirties, but MGM's fifties take ranks with Torch Song for dog of the decade.
The Lee J. Cobb character plays a gangster who is in love Jean Harlow although he never met her. In real life, New Jersey's Abner "Longy" Zwillman, one of the founding fathers of organized crime in America, had an affair with Jean Harlow and supposedly was influential in advancing her career and keeping Columbia Pictures afloat. But he was never in love with her and didn't speak highly of her. Four months after this picture opened for MGM, Mr. Zwillman allegedly committed suicide. At the time, he was being hounded by the IRS and the McClellan Committee. Some think Vito Genovese had him hit because he might talk and Mr. Zwillman had been there from the beginning. This picture couldn't have helped.
Party Girl (1958)
- James Higgins
A rather odd film, it's a crime melodrama, but also has Cyd Charisse performing some dance numbers. Well photographed. Robert Taylor doesn't have much enthusiasm, in his role. Good production. I did find it slow in certain areas. It is interesting though.