HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Strange Woman, The She's Like The Wind
Year: 1946
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, George Sanders, Louis Hayward, Gene Lockhart, Hillary Brooke, Rhys Williams, Ruth Storey, Moroni Olsen, Olive Blakeney, Kathleen Lockhart, Alan Napier, Dennis Hoey, Ian Keith
Genre: Drama, Thriller, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nineteenth century Maine, and in a rural location, Jenny Hager (Hedy Lamarr) was brought up alone by her alcoholic father (Dennis Hoey). As a little girl, she began to learn how to get her own way, manipulating everyone around her, and making sure they all knew not to mess with her, even going as far as nearly drowning one of her schoolfriends in the local lake before trying to appear as if it were she who saved his life. Her father sees through this subterfuge, and when she defies him as a teenager, determined to win herself a rich man to marry to give her the freedom she needs to follow her heart's desires, he beats her with his belt - which she loves...

Not long after that the exertion sees him collapsing from a heart attack and expiring, allowing his daughter to put her plans into motion, in this, a film that was based on the work of author Ben Ames Williams whose Leave Her to Heaven had been a significant hit the year before for Gene Tierney. She had the benefit of Technicolor to show off her good looks, but one star who was advertised as the most beautiful the movies had ever seen had to make do with black and white for this non-studio (or non-major studio) picture of one of Williams' efforts that was, if anything, even more scandalously written, with a heroine who would now be termed a sadomasochist.

Now, this was 1946, and despite the fact that millions of cinemagoers had witnessed some truly horrendous sights in the previous few years, and the grimmer tone of film noir was reflecting that, there was no way the Production Code was going to allow a heroine who relished a sexual thrill from humiliating and even killing those she regarded as her playthings. Nevertheless, Lamarr had personally chosen Edgar G. Ulmer to direct this effort, a filmmaker who liked to examine the darker side of the soul in his (usually) low budget oeuvre, and he was not about to let at least a degree or two of the kinky nature of the novel get by him, so when in the early stages Jenny is whipped, her pleasure was all over Lamarr's face.

However, for reasons best known to themselves the project did not want to present Jenny as irredeemable, therefore they rendered her as sympathetic up to a point, offering her forgiveness as she does not have a complete grasp on the twisted impulses that drive her onwards, indeed in some scenes it's as if she can barely comprehend why she is acting the way she does. The simple answer would be that she wanted power, and money could supply that, and it was the men who had the money, so she would be well-advised to wrap them around her little finger to fulfil her wishes, but in Lamarr's performance, one of her strongest, we are in no doubt of the perversity that also compels Jenny to make sure she has the upper hand in every situation, stemming from her sexuality rather than her intellect.

Ulmer had it that her compulsions could be equated with the harshness of the natural environment, nowhere more than in the sequence where she pulls various strings to wrestle logging captain George Sanders (logging captain?!) away from her childhood friend Meg (Hillary Brooke, regular foil on The Abbott and Costello TV show). There is a storm raging around the cabin where both of them shelter, and after she chases away the horses with the carriage Sanders goes out to see the torrential weather, and when Jenny embraces him and goes in for a torrid kiss, the fire started by a lightning strike rages in the background, framing them in silhouette. It's an image that should be sheerest camp, but somehow it’s Lamarr's conviction that sells it (it certainly isn't the bizarrely-cast Sanders!). Earlier Jenny has ensured her rich, elderly husband (Gene Lockhart) and the son (Louis Hayward) who loved her have met sticky ends, so her moralistic fate was written well before, but the actress proved she was every bit the measure of a role she did not get too often, when typecast as decoration. If only they could have explained her Austrian accent... Music by Carmen Dragon.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 884 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: