Monday, February 18, 2013


British blonde bombshell Diana Dors, an unmarried mother of one, haunts bars looking for Mr. Right, or at least Mr. Tonight. One night, she meets friendly Napa Valley vintner Rod Steiger, not rich but certainly well off. She marries him and, though he turns out to be a good father to her son, he's not a very exciting guy. Another minus: they live with his nervous mother (Beulah Bondi) who always thinks she hears intruders—and since it's a Steiger family tradition to keep their doors unlocked (a show of hospitality), her fears may well be logical. During the local summer fair, Dors meets up with sexy rodeo rider Tom Tryon and they have a fling. Hoping to escape her husband and mother-in-law, she makes plans to shoot Steiger when he comes home from the fair one night, claiming that she thought he was a prowler, but she accidentally shoots Steiger's buddy Gino, with whom Steiger had been feuding. Thinking she truly did it by accident, Steiger offers to confess to the killing, but as lies grow and plans get more complicated (and another person dies under strange circumstances), a web of circumstance tightens around Dors. This fairly glossy film noir is worth seeing for Dors, who does a nice job as a latter-day Lana Turner (think POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE). Steiger, giving a highly mannered performance in the Brando manner, is miscast here and has little chemistry with Dors. Tryon (pictured above with Dors) is fine in the part of the sexy outsider, but he winds up having little relevance to the outcome of the plot. Marie Windsor has a small role as a gold-digging friend of Dors'; Arthur Franz has the thankless role of Steiger's brother, a priest, who, like Tryon, has little to do but stand around and get in the way. [TCM]

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