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Author Topic: Slightly Scarlet (1956)  (Read 3034 times)
cigar joe
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« on: November 14, 2011, 06:18:57 AM »

Director: Allan Dwan, Cinematographer John Alton  Writers: James M. Cain (novel "Loves Lovely Counterfeit"), Robert Blees (screenplay), Stars: John Payne, Rhonda Fleming and Arlene Dahl and Ted De Corsia. WOW! here a an unexpected diamond in the rough, a color Noir that slightly surpasses "Niagara" shot in Superscope, that has got a David Lynch feel to it .

This Noir is not listed in Spencer Selby's "Dark City - The Film Noir." Its definitely off the radar.


 
First, the film has a weird juxtaposition of color, light & shadow. Its this Lynchesque look that is sort of indescribable, unless you've seen it, the the set designer, flamingly went overboard, (even in the extremely noirish seqments) and filled the screen with a pallet of colors, its like "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers" meets "Blue Velvet, except where Blue Velvet and Niagara used color,  the colors were somewhat muted, in this film they basically run riot. The film even recalls somewhat the pallet of Warren Beatty's comic book film "Dick Tracy".

John Alton's color noir cinematography:





Second, Rhonda Fleming and Allene Dahl playing two gorgeous, smoldering, redhead sisters one "good" the other BAD. I say "good" because Fleming is June, obviously the mistress/secretary of the reformer mayoral candidate living quite lavishly in a perfect "Leave It To Beaver" suburbia with kept woman undertones. Dahl plays over the top kid sister Dorothy just of of prison for a kleptomania relapse, she's also a bit of a nymphomaniac but one excusable flaw in the screenplay is that this is not hinted at sooner. It's supposedly a big improvement over Cain's novel where the Dorothy character is almost an afterthought. For the film I can understand that for the fifties the revelation of her tendencies must have been quite extraordinary, but looking back through the prism of time, realistically she should have been shown more open about it, as it is, its hinted at symbolically, i.e. in one scene Dahl flicks a lighter on under the palm of Payne's hand in another she brandishes a speargun.

Regardless both actresses are stunning in their beauty and provide quite a bit of eye candy throughout the film and you wonder how each will upstage the other next. Another plus, their costumes, their body language, and the backdrops provide a living pulp fiction magazine/paperback book cover shot extravaganza.

Here is a series blatantly showing off a couple of Fleming's assets (PS these caps aren't as good as the DVD, BTY) and the battle of the sisters over John Payne:

Fleming & Dalh with a pretty blatant phallic symbol:



There must be a full minute of Fleming flashing her breasts under the flimsy nightgown good stuff way to go Rhonda Afro Afro Afro





Rhonda's legs



The three stills don't do her justice got to rent or buy the film  Afro

Dahl's turn:

Dahl in a nice slip



Dahl using a back scratcher on her legs and probably something else  Evil



Dahl wins.....  she is spread eagled on the couch dripping for John Payne but when it turns out to be Ted De Corsia who sees the display show she doesn't bat an eye lash  Wink




Third, Payne and De Corsia wonderfully reprise (for me anyway, since I've seen their other outings first) some of their rolls in other Noir films so they bring that cinematic memory factor into their characters, some of De Corsia's lines recall William Conrad's in "The Killers", all in all giving that slipping into a comfortable pair of old shoes feel to the film which adds to the mix making Slightly Scarlet what it is.

If this film has one major weakness its the score which is a bit too bland. The DVD (rented from Netflix) has some nice special features, a good commentary by writer and James M. Cain enthusiast Max Collins, a James M. Cain bio, a collection of stills from the film, and trailers from other James M. Cain based films. 9/10

« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 08:05:45 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 08:58:52 AM »

Thanks for posting CJ.

Definitely one to look out for!

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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 07:12:43 AM »

I just watched this movie. It's kind of ridiculous.

5.5/10

Yes, Fleming is wonderful to look at. It's great that they shot it in color, so you can see Fleming's fiery red hair and green eyes. (And yes, Arlene Dahl is not a bad looking sidekick). I've always loved Fleming. She has about fascinating a pair of tits as this world has ever seen.

 But this movie gets pretty annoying pretty quickly; and no girl in the world is hot enough to justify sitting through a bad film. The story starts off with potential, but kind of falls off toward the end. Payne delivers basically the only good performance of the movie; the other actors, including Fleming and Dahl, are not very good. A hot girl can make watching a good movie better, but never makes watching a bad movie worthwhile. Eventually it becomes obvious that the only attraction in this movie is seeing how many different ways they can try show off the girls' assets. If you're happy sitting through 94 minutes just so you can see Fleming in a nightie, go right ahead  Roll Eyes

« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 11:49:47 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 01:44:42 PM »

Eventually it becomes obvious that the only attraction in this movie is seeing how many different ways they can try show off the girls' assets. If you're happy sitting through 94 minutes just so you can see Fleming in a nightie, go right ahead  Roll Eyes
Right. Bring on the Blu-ray!

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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 02:25:56 PM »

Right. Bring on the Blu-ray!

or you can just watch porn, which I'd guess doesn't make you sit through all sorts of dumb scenes before getting to what you are looking for. Not to mention that it shows more than just a nightie (or, differently stated, shows the girl in less than a nightie).
Seriously, I never got how some guys will happily watch a bad movie just cuz there is a hot girl in it in various states of undress. There are plenty of movies out there with hot chicks, which are actually GOOD, besides for the scenes with the women. I particularly don't appreciate it when I watch a movie based on a friend's recommendation, only for it to turn out to be a dumb movie which he only recommended cuz of some chick that was in it. (Although to be sure, I far prefer that to the time a girl once enthusiastically recommended a movie to me (Bad Boys) which turned out to be awful; when I complained to her that she wasted my time with a terrible movie recommendation, she responded "Any movie that has Will Smith without his shirt on is worth watching!" Somehow, she must have gotten the wrong impression, haha, surprising considering she was my first kiss.... Well, the bad movie recommendation turned out to be the least of the bad things she did to me, but I digress....  Wink )

« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 02:35:30 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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