Flamingo Road (1949)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Film-Noir, Romance


Flamingo Road (1949) Poster

A small town corrupt sheriff manipulates local candidates to the state legislature but he eventually comes into conflict with a visiting carnival dancer.

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7/10
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  • Flamingo Road (1949)
  • Joan Crawford in Flamingo Road (1949)
  • Flamingo Road (1949)
  • Joan Crawford and Zachary Scott in Flamingo Road (1949)
  • Sydney Greenstreet and Zachary Scott in Flamingo Road (1949)
  • Joan Crawford and Michael Curtiz in Flamingo Road (1949)

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2 February 2000 | abooboo-2
8
| CRAWFORD VS. GREENSTREET
Despite the noted critic Pauline Kael's unreasonably negative review of this film, it's a lot of fun and a good vehicle for Joan Crawford's talents. Kael described it as overwrought, but in truth it's good old-fashioned melodramatic story-telling with a smart, literate script, and refreshingly quick pacing. The only flaw that bothered me was a musical score that is, at times, laughably incongruous. (The music swells bewilderingly and ominously when Crawford benignly offers Reynolds' Political Boss something for his hangover.)

Sure, you can quarrel with the casting of Shakespearean-voiced Sydney Greenstreet playing a Southern Sheriff, but he's so unrepentently vile and villainous that he's convincing in every role he plays. It is a joy to watch two such formidable actors as Crawford and Greenstreet squaring off in big confrontations.

It's not surprising that, some 30 years later, this became the premise for a night-time soap opera starring, I believe, Morgan Fairchild. It has so many jealousies, manipulations, secret ambitions, double-crosses, plots for revenge - it's just great fun if one doesn't take it too seriously. And clearly, Crawford, Greenstreet, and the director, Michael Curtiz, didn't. They recognized the material for what it was - pulpy entertainment served up with wit and style.

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