6.7/10
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49 user 23 critic

Born to Be Bad (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 31 August 1950 (USA)
A woman's attempt to appear innocent and sweet clashes with her lover who sees through her act and the wealthy man she tries to trick into marrying her.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writers:

Edith Sommer (screen play), Charles Schnee (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Fontaine ... Christabel
Robert Ryan ... Nick
Zachary Scott ... Curtis
Joan Leslie ... Donna
Mel Ferrer ... Gobby
Harold Vermilyea ... John Caine
Virginia Farmer ... Aunt Clara
Kathleen Howard ... Mrs. Bolton
Dick Ryan Dick Ryan ... Arthur
Bess Flowers ... Mrs. Worthington
Joy Hallward Joy Hallward ... Mrs. Porter
Hazel Boyne Hazel Boyne ... Committee Woman
Irving Bacon ... Jewelry Salesman
Gordon Oliver ... The Lawyer
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Storyline

Christabel fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna's wealthy fiancée Curtis. The only one who sees through her facade is Nick, a rugged writer who loves her anyway. Christabel also loves Nick, but she loves Curtis' money more. After convincing Curtis that Donna is only interested in him for his money, she tricks Curtis into marrying her. Of course, she still dallies with Nick on the side. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Women hated her...but men DESIRED her! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

All Kneeling See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Fontaine doesn't play a "femme fatale." She's more of a conniver. See more »

Quotes

Christabel Caine Carey: Hello, Nick. I thought your plane left at twelve?
Nick Bradley: It did. They have a habit of leaving whether I'm on them or not.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #7.13 (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

More than meets the eye!
26 April 2002 | by fjarlettSee all my reviews

Most people remember Nicholas Ray for his most famous films, Rebel Without A Cause and Johnny Guitar being the ones most talked about . Born To Be Bad is ensconced in the category reserved for ignored treasures and guilty pleasures, since Director Ray's characteristic "signature" as a director was just as canny in this film as in any of his lesser discussed works, On Dangerous Ground (which also featured Robert Ryan) being another example. This reviewer sees the same sophistication in Born To Be Bad as in another 50s Ray piece, In A Lonely Place; Born To Be Bad is just as cynical in its own way, guised as a superficially lighter "high society" melodrama. Although there are no dark staircases, ominous shadows or oblique camera angles here, Born To Be Bad has subterfuge and alienation at its core in Joan Fontaine's central character, Christabel Caine. The misery depicted here is the type that afflicts the rich and the venal, where wealth, not poverty, is the variable behind their alienation, and their betrayals are carried out in swank apartments and elite mansions instead of typical "noir" territory. The stylistic dimensions of the film aside, Born To Be Bad also features Robert Ryan and Joan Fontaine together romantically. For Ryan devotees searching for the few romantic roles that came his way, they should certainly see the film: the chemistry between Ryan and Fontaine simmers in furtive trysts that were somewhat risque for cinema of that era (a comparable romance between Ryan and a female lead can also be found in the 1952 "noir" masterpiece, Clash By Night). Still available on laserdisc, Born To Be Bad features a crystal clear video transfer worthy of any film buff.


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