Friday, October 01, 2010

Tonight's Movie: Her Kind of Man (1946)

HER KIND OF MAN, which might be subtitled "Her Stupid Choice," is a watchable, if not particularly noteworthy, tale of a singer (Janis Paige) courted by both a hustler (Zachary Scott) and a nice guy newspaper columnist (Dane Clark).

Georgia King (Paige) is crazy for Steve Maddux (Scott), a gambler who doesn't want to work for a living yet wants to hit the big time fast. When Georgia makes it from a club in the midwest to the big time in New York, she's pursued by newspaper man Don Corwin (Clark), but she can't resist Steve and ultimately marries him.

The only thing Steve seems to have going for him is that he knows how to kiss well, because otherwise he's pretty much a slimy jerk, as evidenced by his constant putdowns of his loyal henchman Candy (Harry Lewis). Georgia seems oblivious to Steve's faults, sticking with him even after he manages to gun down his own loving sister (Faye Emerson). Fate eventually catches up with Steve. The End.

The movie is watchable enough, though nothing special. Scott excels as the heel, although the actor is stuck with a script that takes the character completely over the top towards the end; Steve's actions when the police raid his gambling joint are completely bizarre and inexplicable.

Paige's character is a bit bland and not played with the actress's usual verve; her devotion to Steve is hard to understand, especially after the gambling raid. Apparently we're just supposed to accept that she's a "stand by your man" kind of gal, come what may. Clark comes off well as the congenial reporter waiting in the wings for Georgia.

The film is ostensibly set over a period of years, beginning during Prohibition, but the time frame is never clearly depicted in terms of music or costumes, and the fact that the story is told via flashback doesn't help matters. I was also curious that the end of the film didn't circle back around to the opening scene which launches the flashback.

IMDb credits Paige with doing her own singing, although her voice is so high in this I'm not completely convinced it was her; it didn't sound like the same voice I've listened to for years on my PAJAMA GAME and SILK STOCKINGS LP's.

Janis Paige is still performing, at the age of 88; here's an article published about her just a few days ago. She looks terrific.

Harry Lewis, who plays Candy, has a claim to fame beyond acting: he founded the Hamburger Hamlet restaurant chain. Lewis is effective as Steve's strangely loyal righthand man.

Faye Emerson doesn't have a great deal to do as Steve's sister Ruby. I enjoyed seeing George Tobias in a more serious role than usual as Ruby's husband Joe, and I liked that Joe and the glamorous Ruby were depicted as having a loving relationship, which I wasn't expecting when I first saw the two characters together.

HER KIND OF MAN was directed by Frederick De Cordova. It was shot in black and white and runs 78 minutes. The supporting cast includes Sheldon Leonard and Howard Smith. Look for John Dehner in a tiny role as a patron at the Georgia King Club.

HER KIND OF MAN was one of eight Dane Clark films shown last week on Turner Classic Movies. Last Monday I reviewed another Clark film, the excellent EMBRACEABLE YOU (1948).

This film has not had a DVD or video release. The trailer is here.

Update: There's a good review of this film at Where Danger Lives.

October 2018 Update: HER KIND OF MAN is coming out on DVD from the Warner Archive. My review of the DVD may be found here.


Blogger Mark said...

Hi Laura - nice write up and thanks for the plug. Amending my piece with a link back to yours. Keep up the wonderful work!

6:59 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much, Mark! I've now added a link to your review, which I previously linked in a "roundup" post, to this post as well.

Best wishes,

8:15 PM  

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