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(Review originally written at 26 June 2008)

Generally speaking I'm just not a too big fan of movies which are based on stage-plays, for the reason that the storytelling, characters and dialog were obviously written for the stage and just don't work out as effectively on the silver screen as they would on the stage.

This movie is based on the Broadway production "Diamond Lil", which also starred Mea West in the main lead. It must have a really edgy production for its time, with a strong sexual feminist overtone present in it. It's obviously one of those movie that were made before the enforcement of the Hays code in 1934. It were movies like this that were the reason the code got enforced. The movie is filled with sexual innuendo, which pre-code movies are so well known. Also Mea West's strong female performance is a typical example.

Mea West was an one of kind actress at her time and she is always very well known, even today, despite the fact that in her lifetime she only starred in 12 motion pictures. And it's not as if she died young, since she almost lived to be 90 years old. She was also older already at the time of this production than most of the other leading role ladies active in the business. I must say I like her as an actress, since she is so originally fresh with her performance and dares t be edgy. The movie also features a still very young Cary Grant in one of his earliest performance. But something tells me he would had never took the part of this movie got across his path later in his career. This is not really a typically Cary Grant movie so to speak.

The storytelling and the main plot line of the movie are just too messy and needlessly confusing. Many characters come and go, everybody wants something and it's just never really clear in which direction the movie is heading to. I'm sure this kind of story and approach of it work out great on the stage but as a movie the story is simply lacking far too much.

No, of course the movie is not horrible and it still mildly entertains but it's just not the type of movie I would ever recommend to anyone. It's a movie that above all things mostly leaves a pointless impression.

6/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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