"Another boner. The script missed, Curtiz missed, I missed."
~ Joan Crawford on "Flamingo Road."
"Flamingo Road" 1949
Cast: Joan Crawford~Zachary Scott~Sydney Greenstreet~Gladys Georege~Virginia Huston~Fred Clark~Gertrude Michael~Alice
White~Sam McDaniel~Tito Vuolo~David Brian.
Director: Michael Curtiz
Producer: Jerry Wald
Costumes by Travilla
Box Office Figures for "Flamingo Road":
Top Grossing Film Position: #32 out of #92
Gross Rentals: $2,250,000.
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Thank you for your review on this film.
Stars: 4 stars
Review: I thought Joan played Lane very well. When I first saw it I was a little bit puzzled at the ending, but now I
have seen it again, I understand it more now than I did before. I thought Zachary played his character very well.
Stars: Four stars out of four
"Flamingo Road" is a fabulously fun, first-rate melodrama with Joan Crawford as Lane Bellamy, a carnival dancer
who is stranded in a small town where she falls in love with local deputy/political candidate Fielding Carlisle (Zachary Scott)
and runs up against corrupt, deliciously unsavory Sheriff Titus Semple (Sydney Greenstreet) who has the weight (no pun intended)
and power to run her out of town. Many of the players from "Mildred Pierce" reunite, including director Michael
Curtiz, Max Steiner who scored the film, and stars Scott and Crawford.
Oh, this is delicious in a way they can't get right anymore! Sydney Greenstreet was such a wonderful character actor with
that wheezing laugh like a braying mule and heavy-lidded eyes like a toad about to strike the unsuspecting fly as he sits
with his pitcher of milk in swank nightclubs or on his friendly porch with the overhead fans. He exerts very little effort
but manages to be villainous just the same. Crawford narrates the opening and makes a superb "entrance" -- at least,
aside from her initial appearance during the voiceover and her bit in harem girl get-up on the carny stage where she wriggles
in veil and silky pants. Scott, sent to check out the abandoned carnival tent, hears music -- the lush "If I Could Be
One Hour with You [Tonight]" sung throatily by Crawford and parts the flaps of the tent to find her gams in light as
the rest of her (sprawled across a couch) is in shadow. She is crooning this song and sits up abruptly. Then the flirtation
begins. With her becoming light hair (this softer, toned down look the way she should have gone as she entered her mid-40's),
Crawford is the intriguing combination of contrasts that make her so fascinating and powerful a star: elegant but earthy;
vulnerable but tough; seductive but girlish; brash and a tad tawdry yet sophisticated and glamorous. With her face so great
at registering sensitive emotion, she is perfect for these melodramas, and whether slinging hash at a two-bit diner or sprawled
across a satin-draped bed in a glamorous gown at her Flamingo Road digs, she is always impeccably made up and lit.
Great dynamics between the characters as Crawford, never weak-spined, takes on Greenstreet. Also on hand is David Brian
as Dan Reynolds, here a refreshingly likeable character, although still bristling with physical power. The black and white
cinematography is beautiful and the dialogue witty and snappy, too - Brian to Crawford: "I'm crazy about you, Lane. What's
your last name?" Or my favorite - Crawford to Greenstreet: "You have no idea how hard it is to get rid of a dead
elephant." Love the jail scene where the jailbirds in the women's dorm act and sound like saucy chorus girls from a Buzby
Berkeley musical. And Gladys George as Lute May Sanders, who runs some sort of house of ill repute that lends Crawford employment
(just what do those "girls" do anyway?), looks like old Hollywood's version of the madame with the heart of gold,
down to the peroxide curls.
Delicious, delicious fun! Get your popcorn and enjoy!