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Rhonda Fleming and Arlene Dahl play sisters who share some sort of duplicitous secret from childhood. Director Alan Dwan (who replaced Kurt Neumann for this film) makes sure we appreciate the doppelgangerishness of the actresses from the opening scene--Fleming picks up Dahl as she exits prison and the two embrace in that movie-ish way, cheek-to-cheek, so their striking similarity of features and RED HAIR can be fully displayed. Fleming really could act, and she gets some choice scenes, but Dahl tends to steal most of Fleming's thunder with her pouty, Dorothy Malone-like, bad girl characterization.
John Payne--by 1956 and aging matinee idol--makes a pretty good conflicted lead. But the other real standout is Ted de Corsia as a mean, mean villain along the lines of Lawrence Tierney or Ward Bond. De Corsia gets to chew garishly colored scenery at several turns.
It's always a pleasure to see the ubiquitous Ellen Corby as Fleming's thankless and clueless housekeeper ("what should I make for supper?"..oops she's being arrested!).Read more ›
I recommend this for buffs who like a little cheese on their cracker--like me.
John Payne(from SUN VALLEY SERENADE-fame) is quite good as the worldweary guy who take what croms that are offered... Unlike Bogart or Cagney he is a believable character with no high drama or over the top macho stuff. Ted deCorsia is brilliant as Sully the hoodlum - the best I`ve seen really...
But it is ARLENE DAHL who steals the show. At first she is just glamour, but she emerges to what surely is a performance of Oscar material.
Her performance is a beauty to behold - as critic Alison DeWytt in the 20th Century-Fox film "All About Eve" would say: "What a PERFORMANCE... Full of FIRE and music....!"
It`s regrettable that this film has little reputation, because it is 90 minutes of excitement, of fun and intrigue.
I have come to love Arlene Dahl over the years. Posterity names her only as a decorative plant, but with other Norwegian girls in US and UK films - GRETA GYNT, SIGRID GURIE and VERA ZORINA - she remains sadly underrated...
At home I have a collection of films starring these women. I call it the "Susan Dahl collection" hehehe - which includes THE GOLDWYN FOLLIES, ALGIERS, THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO(all 1938), THE DARK EYES OF LONDON 1939, THREE FACES WEST, I WAS AN ADVENTURESS(both 1940), LOUISIANA PURCHASE 1941, TAKE MY LIFE, DEAR MURDERER(both 1947), THE OUTRIDERS, THREE LITTLE WORDS(both 1950), SLIGHTLY SCARLET of course - THE VIKINGS(filmed in Norway)1958 and JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH 1959.Read more ›
Since this was the period before color television or wide screens the idea was to exploit the advantage that the film medium had by supplying viewers with what television lacked. They sought to motivate television viewers out of their living room easy chairs and back into theaters by providing luscious color and wide screen entertainment.
The trailer for "Slightly Scarlet" revealed the marketing strategy of producer Benedict Bogeaus. To use the quote that football coach Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns used to describe the impact of his superstar fullback Jim Brown in the days before both of them reached the Hall of Fame in their respective categories, "If you've got a cannon you shoot it."
What was revealed in the trailer was the emphasis on the two female stars. They were referred to as "the two most beautiful redheads" in films. There could be little doubt that the torrid redheads starring in "Slightly Scarlet" deserved the accolade. The only injustice was that the other two redhead beauties of the period, Susan Hayward and Maureen O'Hara, were left out of the equation, but because they were not in the film the omission was therefore understandable.
Rhonda Fleming, who had been discovered in her teens by Henry Willson, who would as an agent guide the careers of Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter and Guy Madison, and who was then casting director for David O. Selznick, made an eye catching debut playing a psychopath with nymphomaniacal tendencies who also likes to physically hurt men in the great Alfred Hitchcock hit, "Spellbound.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A rare and hard to find DVD
At a great price and shipped quickly
Classic 1956 noir shot in Technicolor based on a novel by James M. Cain (‘Double Idemnity’; ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ etc)
PQ is ok but not sensational. Read more
Good film. Rhonda Fleming and Arlene Dahl are an wonderful pairing!Published 13 months ago by Byron
Classic noir, and Rhonda Fleming looks absolutely stunning. For a minor classic, this has been oddly hard to find on DVD. Well worth a look.Published 13 months ago by Roger Hall
Pretty good movie. Took me a while to figure out the characters (especially Arlene Dahl). John Payne - always fantastic. Rhonda Fleming - always beautiful to look at. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Daniel J. Buchanan