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: The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949)  ( 1116 )
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Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!

« : February 05, 2011, 01:20:57 AM »

Just a f-ing waste of time if you watch the whole thing. So I didn't, but I tried, and came 20 minutes shy.

2 (?) out of 10

No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.

« #1 : May 14, 2017, 05:38:04 AM »

Hee, when the great Preston Sturges is dismissive towards one of his own movies you gotta take it seriously.

My review >

The Lady from Laredo.

The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend is directed by Preston Sturges who also produces and co-writes the screenplay with Earl Felton. It stars Betty Grable, Cesar Romero, Rudy Vallee, Olga San Juan, Porter Hall and Hugh Herbert. Music is by Cyril Mockridge and cinematography by Harry Jackson.

When she accidentally shoots a judge in the posterior, sharpshooting dance hall gal Freddie Jones (Grable) escapes the city of Rimpau and ends up in Snake City disguised as a schoolmarm.

In his own words, Preston Sturges would call The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend an unfortunate hodgepodge. Who are we to disagree? From the off nothing sat right for the great writer and director as regards the film, already smarting from the financial disaster that was Unfaithfully Yours, Sturges would end up making a film that wasn't a Sturges movie! Unlike Unfaithfully Yours, which at least received favourable critical notices, The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend was savaged by the critics and lost a fortune at the box office. It signalled the death knell for Sturges' career whilst also becoming the first flop of Grable's starring output at this juncture.

Would the film have had a better reception were it not attached to Preston Sturges? Well it's possible since lesser expectation levels and less attention to the cost of making it would surely have had people view it purely as a Grable starring piece, but quite simply it's just not a good movie, it's uninspiring on the page to begin with, as Sturges' coarse scripting doesn't sit right in the froth, and then the humour falls decidedly flat once the central premise runs out of ideas. Add in some poorly structured characters, such as the moronic Basserman brothers, and the film irritates instead of bringing joy.

Technical attributes do stop it from being an utter waste of time. The Technicolor photography is stunning, the costuming is right out of the top draw, and Grable, who is clearly too good for this sort of stuff, is great value with her effervescence energy and of course those legs! We can also give a modicum of support to the nutty shoot-out that greets the patient amongst us in the finale. Played for scatter shot farce, there is chuckles to be had as Snake City becomes divided and go at it gun for gun. But ultimately these things can't lift the film above the mediocrity that hangs over it during the course of its running time. 5/10

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