HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
Oscar, The
Color Out of Space
Last Holiday
Zombieland: Double Tap
Mind Benders, The
Mighty Wind, A
   
 
Newest Articles
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
   
 
  Born To Kill Love Sick
Year: 1947
Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Claire Trevor, Lawrence Tierney, Walter Slezak, Phillip Terry, Audrey Long, Elisha Cook Jr, Esther Howard, Isabel Jewell, Kathryn Card
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Helen (Claire Trevor) has just received her divorce in Reno, and returns to the boarding house where she is staying to settle her bill. The owner of the boarding house, Mrs Kraft (Esther Howard), is merrily chatting away to one of the tenants, Laury (Isabel Jewell), who is telling her about her new boyfriend - her second new boyfriend, in fact. Later that night, Helen visits a casino, where one of the punters catches her eye; she doesn't know that he is Sam Wilde (Lawrence Tierney), Laury's other boyfriend, who is getting worked up into a jealous fury which will see him murder both Laury and the other man, and it's Helen who finds the bodies. However, she doesn't call the police...

This twist on the film noir genre was written by Eve Green and Richard Macaulay from James Gunn's novel, and gave both tough guy Tierney and bad girl Trevor some great opportunities which they seized with aplomb. Instead of the traditional hero being drawn into a criminal underworld by a femme fatale, Born To Kill reverses the genders with Helen pulled down into depravity by the psychopathic Sam, finding herself both repelled by and sexually attracted to him, as most women seem to be in this film. You have to agree with the filmmakers that Sam, who anyone with any sense could tell is an extremely dangerous man, would have the ladies falling at his feet, which makes for a curiously artificial experience. The tension, on the other hand, makes up for it.

Leaving Reno by train, Helen and Sam meet by chance, and get to talking. Helen is the foster sister of Georgia (Audrey Long), a tycoon's daughter who has all the money, while Helen has to rely on her charity. Helen is engaged to Fred (Phillip Terry), a rich businessman who she is marrying for his fortune, even if she can't admit this fact to herself, but when Sam follows her home and invites himself to dinner, she grows torn between doing the right thing for her family and friends, or following Sam's wicked lead. See how intimidating Tierney is while dancing with Georgia, and you will have trouble accepting that she would want to marry him, but in a matter of weeks that is precisely what she does.

Meanwhile, Mrs Kraft is bitter about Laury's death, and hires a seedy private detective, Arnett (Walter Slezak) to track down the killer. Insinuatingly played by the portly Slezak, the Bible-quoting Arnett becomes an unlikely force for good and in some ways the conscience of the movie, showing up at the wedding to ask pertinent questions until he is thrown out by Helen. Sam has an accomplice, Marty (regular film noir fall guy Elisha Cook Jr) who tries to reign him in, and moves in with Helen and Georgia in their mansion (just about all the main characters end up moving in together, and you half expect Arnett to join them).

All the while, Helen and Sam are carrying on a lustful relationship behind everyone's back, with Helen disgusted with her passion but giving in to it anyway: see the scene where they embrace each other in the kitchen one night to rhapsodise over the details of the double murder for gleefully sick melodrama. As Mrs Kraft gets too close, Helen tries to bribe Arnett, which he accepts, but her corrupt side is her downfall and Fred, who would have provided the money, pushes her away. And the vicious Sam isn't having much more luck, as there's a great sequence where Marty attempts to kill off Mrs Kraft on the sand dunes one night, only to be violently prevented by his friend who believes he's making moves on Helen. Unremittingly dark, Born To Kill is a fine example of the kind of thriller where you get your kicks from seeing the characters going straight to Hell. Music by Paul Sawtell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7371 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Wise  (1914 - 2005)

Versatile American director, a former editor (he worked on Citizen Kane) who began with some great B-movies (Curse of the Cat People, The Body Snatcher, Born to Kill) and progressed to blockbusters (West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Star Trek: The Motion Picture). He won Oscars for the two musical successes.

Along the way, there were classics like The Day the Earth Stood Still, exposes like I Want to Live! and spooky gems like The Haunting. Other films include Somebody Up There Likes Me, The Sand Pebbles, Star!, The Andromeda Strain and Audrey Rose. His last film was Rooftops, another musical.

 
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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: