16 September 2005 | blanche-2
loved it, but what was up with Greenstreet
"Flamingo Road" is one of those Joan from the other side of the tracks ending up living large film, and it's great. After how many years of doing these roles, at 45, Crawford still pulled them off with aplomb. She's wonderful to watch in this.
I remember seeing this at a revival cinema, on a big screen, and it was the first time I realized how petite a woman she was - but she always seemed so tall! In this film, Crawford plays a ex-carny girl who takes up with Zachary Scott. Scott is the protégé of a ruthless political boss, played by Sydney Greenstreet. He turns out to be too weak-willed to do anything but stay under Greenstreet's thumb. He marries someone more proper while Greenstreet does everything he can to drive Crawford out of town.
When Crawford winds up married to an even more powerful man than Greenstreet, he seeks to destroy both her and her husband.
David Brian is excellent as Crawford's husband, as is Gladys George as a roadhouse owner for whom Crawford works briefly. Scott does register as a wimp, stripped of his romantic underpinnings in "Mildred Pierce."
And then we come to Sydney Greenstreet. You're telling me he lived five years after this film? I would have easier believed he dropped dead immediately afterward. He looks pasty and horrendous as he downs pitchers of milk, slurs his dialogue, and laughs in a very unworldly way - kind of a hah-hah, a sharp intake of breath, and then a higher pitched laugh that sounds like a hiccup. Always a sinister presence on the screen, Greenstreet comes off as evil, all right, but also ill in this production.
"Flamingo Road" became a television series in the '80s. I'll take the original.