Born to Be Bad

1950

Drama / Film-Noir

168
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1

Synopsis


Downloaded times
March 15, 2021

Director

Cast

Joan Fontaine as Jane Wharton
Mel Ferrer as Joshua
Robert Ryan as Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
Zachary Scott as Horace Woodruff Vendig
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
826.56 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
94 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.5 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
94 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by aimless-46 7 / 10 / 10

Citizen Hughes

Director Nicholas Ray managed to take his revenge on RKO's Howard Hughes with this real life "Citizen Kane". Hughes was obsessively pursuing Joan Fontaine whose post WWII career was going nowhere. Like Hearst's intervention in Marion Davies' career, Hughes got Fontaine the lead in Ray's "Born To Be Bad" and then meddled in the production to insure that the film became a promotional vehicle for her. Whatever Ray may have thought of this it was not a complete disaster. Although the 32 year- old Fontaine is not credible in the role of a young business school student, if you suspend disbelief about the age factor, her performance is the equal of Anne Baxter's in "All About Eve". The same thing could be said of Davies; while her career was mismanaged by Hearst's inappropriate casting, her talent was still able to shine through. Although not given final cut, Ray somehow was able to turn "Born To Be Bad" into a self- parodying melodrama that reflected much of the Hughes-Fontaine relationship. Even making Fontaine's mark (wealthy Curtis Carey-played by Zachary Scott) into a Hughes look- alike, complete with pencil mustache and a passion for flying. Unlike Orsen Welles, Ray made a lot of women's pictures, a quality "Citizen Kane" does not share with "Born To Be Bad". Fontaine plays master manipulator Christabel Caine (not Kane), not quite a sociopath but a woman with little sign of a conscience. Unlike most of these women's pictures, it is the men who she has trouble fooling with her innocent act. Cunning gay artist Gobby (Mel Ferrer)) finds her a kindred spirit and novelist Nick (Robert Ryan) is turned on by her greed and lack of moral/ethical boundaries. Ray has Fontaine play the character in a nice self-parodying style that actually makes her somewhat sympathetic to the viewer, at least for those who can take a guilty pleasure watching her turn on the charm. Unlike her sister, the eternally earthy Olivia deHavilland, age made Fontaine brittle and well suited to villainess roles. With cute little smiles and feigned reaction shots Fontaine keeps the film vicious for its entire length. Like Ray's "Johnny Guitar", this is a film about two women, one good and one bad (there is no subtlety), who vie for the same man. It is a battle of Joans, as Donna is played by gorgeous Joan Leslie ("Sgt. York"). Donna is a publishing house editor, postwar America was still adjusting to the vocational progress women had made during the war. But the evil Christabel explicitly rejects career opportunities (one can't imagine her contributing to the war effort) in favor of setting herself up for life by landing a rich husband she can set up for a lucrative divorce settlement. Leslie and Ferrer are especially good in the film. Leslie gives the only restrained performance, which is more powerful because it contrasts so sharply with the overplayed performances Ray gets from the rest of his cast. Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

Reviewed by FilmOtaku 7 / 10 / 10

A fun change of role for Fontaine

`Born to be Bad' is a great melodrama from 1950 directed by Nicholas Ray and starring the normally genteel Joan Fontaine. In this film however, Fontaine plays Christabel, a young socialite who purports to be an earnest and innocent woman, yet has a pretty insidious duplicitous nature. (Think a slightly less deranged Eve Harrington) Throughout the course of the film, Christabel connives her way into winning the heart of a wealthy man who was previously betrothed to the woman who took her in to her home and introduced her to society as well as love and throw away a famous writer who she seems to actually have feelings for, yet cannot give up the allure of marrying for money. The great thing about `Born to be Bad' is that no matter what happens to her, Christabel is pretty unrepentant, even up until the very end. This is somewhat varied from the great melodramas of the 30's-50's, where the `evil man/woman' sees the error in their ways, or gets their comeuppance. Nicholas Ray of course went on to direct the classics `Johnny Guitar' and `Rebel Without a Cause', the very model from which teen angst films stemmed, but `Born to be Bad' is a pretty simple film that has a lot of good scene-chewing scenes. I particularly enjoyed watching Fontaine practically get whiplash every time one of her men would grab her and kiss her with fervent passion; it's just that cheesy and good. `Born to be Bad' is another fine example of why the melodramas of this era play so much better than any of that genre today, and even in the last couple of decades – it is intelligent, with a great script and even better acting, and is just simply fun to watch. --Shelly

Reviewed by blanche-2 7 / 10 / 10

Sweet young thing wreaks havoc

Joan Fontaine plays a real conniver hiding beneath a soft exterior in "Born to Be Bad," also starring Robert Ryan, Zachary Scott, Mel Ferrer, and Joan Leslie. Fontaine is Christabel, a young woman from the poor side of the family who comes to town to work for her Uncle John once his assistant (Leslie) has married a wealthy, eligible bachelor Curtis (Scott). Fontaine sets her sights on the big money right away but finds herself in the heavy clinches with an author (Ryan) who's in love with her. She's reminiscent in her way of a non-show biz Eve Harrington. Using her soft voice and all that gossamer femininity, Christabel manages, with an innuendo here, an innuendo there, a suggestion here, a hint there - to totally break up the engaged couple and drive Joan Leslie right out of town. Since Christabel has dropped out of business school, her uncle says she can't work for him and needs to return home. In a panic, she throws herself at Curtis at a ball and wins him. The question then is, what did she win? What did he lose? This potboiler was directed by Nicholas Ray, and I have to believe the man had a sense of humor. Otherwise, how do you account for those love scenes? Every time a man went to kiss Fontaine, he swept her around and dipped her, nearly breaking her neck as the music crescendos. Then there were the shots of Joan, her face in a state of rapture, as she realized she was getting what she wanted. Very campy. Joan Fontaine is excellent in the role, very sweet in the beginning but becoming austere after she marries Curtis. It's a subtle change but definitely demonstrates her acting ability. She looks lovely in a variety of gowns and dresses. Robert Ryan is extremely handsome in this, as well as charming, funny, and a real catch. His character sees right through Christabel but wants her anyway. The acting is uniformly good. Mel Ferrer plays an artist who also has Christabel's number and paints her portrait. "Born to Be Bad" is fun to watch though it's certainly not Ray's best work. I do think one has to allow for the fact that he saw this as a real potboiler and directed it the way he did on purpose. If you can't beat 'em - and with this script, how could he - join 'em. By the way, there's a mistake in the letter that Christabel leaves for Curtis.

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