HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Party Girl Ever Dance With The Devil?
Year: 1958
Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse, Lee J. Cobb, John Ireland, Kent Smith, Claire Kelly, Corey Allen, Lewis Charles, David Opatoshu, Kem Dibbs, Patrick McVey, Barbara Lang, Myrna Hansen, Betty Utey
Genre: Drama, Thriller, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Vickie Gaye (Cyd Charisse) is a party girl, a model who wanted to be a dancer who appears in a nightclub show for the benefit of the patrons of this nineteen-thirties Chicago nightspot, many of whom are connected to the powerful gang boss Rico Angelo (Lee J. Cobb). Being older than her fellow performers, Vicki feels she has seen it all and is cynical, even when dispensing advice, but at a celebration she and her colleagues have been invited to after the show, her attention is caught by an older gentleman who turns out to be Thomas Farrell (Robert Taylor), Angelo's lawyer who is not as crooked as she might have thought...

Party Girl arrived at a time in director Nicholas Ray's career which might in hindsight be described as his heyday, as the fifties spawned a bunch of well-regarded movies such as Johnny Guitar and Rebel Without a Cause; he may not have realised it back then, but they were his golden years. As such, Party Girl may not have been one of his most popular efforts but like most of his work from this period it gathered a cult following, partly thanks to the lurid excesses he conjured up for his underworld milieu, something bristling with barely contained violence. Indeed, it was one of the most bloodthirsty studio movies of the era, even if it didn't cross the line into straight ahead exploitation.

That said, it was still strange to see classy performers like Taylor and Charisse appear in a movie which inspired one of the most violent scenes of Brian de Palma's career, where for The Untouchables he lifted the whole sequence where Al Capone substitute Angelo holds a dinner for a fellow hood, then beats him half to death with the presentation silver pool cue he had made especially, both illustrating his out of control personality and a profligacy borne of just how much money he is raking in from his rackets. Farrell seems too reserved to have gotten involved with such illegality and danger, but he suffers from a crippled leg thanks to a childhood accident and has to walk with a cane: it's implied this is what drew Angelo to him.

We are shown how effective Farrell is in the courtroom when he manages to get scummy henchman John Ireland off a murder rap, much to the horror of the judge and the newspapers, but we are also aware of how Farrell has made a pact with the Devil and he will have to pay his dues before long. As if recognising how manipulated by dark forces they each are, he and Vickie are drawn to one another and before long are improving their lives by supporting their aspirations, so Vickie gets to dance as she always wanted - you couldn't have a movie starring Cyd Charisse in the fifties and not have her dance, and she performs two energetic numbers here which look about as far from the thirties as the decade could get. Meanwhile, Thomas is persuaded to have his leg seen to by a doctor.

Things grow complicated when a new breed of punk emerges, epitomised by Corey Allen's Cookie who has been littering the city with corpses because as is observed he is a psychopath who loves to kill, and Farrell is ordered by Angelo to get him off this new investigation scot free. The lawyer resists, so the boss threatens not only to bust his hip and undo the doctor's good work, but to throw acid in Vickie's face into the bargain; he is indignant, but what can he do? He has been too close to these brutal men for too long, and his chickens are coming home to roost. Interestingly, although Farrell is seen to he behaving in a dubious manner by assisting the criminals, his stoic nobility is never in doubt, possibly because Taylor would not have played him any other way, or possibly because the story is desperately needing a hero, as Kent Smith's moral lawyer is not a particularly sympathetic character, even by contrast. There may be a lot that's hokey about Party Girl, and the ending is pretty absurd, but the dilemma at its heart and the gusto of its presentation marked it out. Music by Jeff Alexander.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3230 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
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: