Wednesday, May 18, 2011

His Kind of Woman

For some reason, I thought I had written a full-length blog post on His Kind of Woman, which is airing at 12:30 PM Thursday on TCM. However, a search of the blog claims I only blogged briefly about it back in December 2009.

Robert Mitchum plays Dan, a gambler who's been lured to a Mexican resort with the promise of a big payday. What he doesn't realize is that the man behind the promise is Nick Ferraro, a notorious gangster who is living in exile because he can't get back into the United States. Ferraro has a devious scheme: he plans to use plastic surgery be given a face to look like Dan, and then steal Dan's identity to get back into the United States. Granted, that would also involve killing poor Dan, but who cares about some low-level gambler? He's just a minor detail.

Obviously, that's not a minor detail to Dan, who spends his time wandering aimlessly around the resort while he's trying to figure out what the real deal is. (I think the time is actually spent padding out the movie to a reasonable length.) Along the way Dan meets all the folks staying at the resort. This is a group reminiscent of the folks in M. Hulot's Holiday, including a love interest for him in the form of Lenore (Jane Russell), who is really after actor Mark Cardigan (Vincent Price). The story, to be honest, is more of the popcorn variety in that it's nothing too deep, but it will certainly entertain you.

In fact, the most entertaining thing about the whole movie is Vincent Price. His character isn't just an actor, but a very hammy actor, one who's trying to figure out a way to get his career going again. When he finally learns that Mitchum's Dan is in trouble, it's his chance to shine, as he leads the rescue mission, hamming it up all the way. Now, I'd tend to think that it's tough for an actor to play a ham, but Price goes way, way over the top and makes the movie a lot of fun. At the same time, Price is also responsible for some of the popcorn-worthy shallowness, making His Kind of Woman pure entertainment all the way. It's a bit slow in getting to where it winds up, but boy is it fun when it does get there.

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