- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Jane is worth the watch
This is not a great film, but there is something very compelling about it. Jane Russell's performance is tough but nuanced with a damaged soul, deep-burried vulnerability. She'll fight it all out before breaking. In the end, she does break, but quickly puts herself back together, but the ending was supposedly changed, so this scene lacks the emotional punch it should of had. The real reason to watch this film is Russell....probably THE most original sex symbol in film history. There has never been a sex goddess so physically sturdy, so emotionally tough, so aware, so outwardly confident and so bored by the ogling attention from the opposite sex.
When'd you go bricktop?
That's what Richard Egan asks after Mamie has dyed her hair to become the sensation of the South Pacfic theater of war. This is definitely a pot-boiler, but Jane as "Flaming Mamie" is something to behold. It shows up often enough on The Fox Movie Channel these days, so be on the look-out.
A little revolting goes a long way.
Anything revolutionary about this tale got lost in the transition from book to movie. In the book, Mamie was a (Fill in your own euphemism.) and a war profiteer and was notorious for fraternizing with tens of thousands of troops stationed in the South Pacific. She was no Nellie Forbush; Mamie meant business. Thanks to the Production Code, her place of business became a dance hall, where hostesses entertained gentlemen in "champagne rooms", and conversation was the order of the day. Riveting. When you stop laughing, we can continue. This was supposedly one of the reasons Marilyn walked out on 20th. (I've also read they wanted her for Heller In Pink Tights, which went to Sophia Loren.) All that having been said, I like this movie on its own terms, and I LOVE Jane Russell in anything. In the process of being neutered, it became something of a cartoon, and on that level it works quite well. It's garish and fun, like a carnival side-show. Jane gets an able assist from Richard Egan, who helps give voice to her conscience. Agnes Moorehead is a pip as the "entrepreneur" who runs the dance hall, getting lots of mileage out of a severe blonde wig. Jane goes brick-top and gets her own mileage out of hair color. After Pearl Harbor, Mamie uses her earnings from all that dancing to buy up real estate dirt cheap as panicky property owners flee to the mainland. Her greed undoes her, of course, and relationships go sour. A chastened Mamie heads home. Like I said - standard fare, but fun.