- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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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.