The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)

Approved   |    |  Biography, Crime, Drama


The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955) Poster

The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing is the true story of Evelyn Nesbit (Dame Joan Collins), a beautiful showgirl caught in a love triangle with elderly architect Stanford White (Ray Milland) and eccentric young millionaire Harry K. Thaw (Farley Granger).


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7 July 2010 | dbdumonteil
Swing high ,sweet Evelyn Thaw;
Richard Fleischer remains one of the most underrated of the American directors.His influence is huge,particularly in Europa:Chabrol's last movie "La Fille Coupée En Deux" is a disguised remake of "girl on the red velvet swing" -and not nearly so good.His movies dealing with criminal affairs are all interesting and form,in spite of their differences ,a well-knit group:"Follow me quietly" "Compulsion" "Crack in the mirror" and his more accomplished works "Boston strangler" and " 10 Rillington PLace" ."The girl on the red velvet swing" ,in spite of its costume drama side,belongs to the genre too.We're told since the beginning it's a criminal affair.The title is a transparent metaphor:Evelyn is not only caught between two men;she is a proletarian ,close to French writer Colette's "Gigi" in the world of the wealthy and the mighty.One of her men doesn't want to divorce and to marry her ,not because she is young enough to be his daughter but because the world he lives in is not prepared to accept such a monstrous union.If she were a rich heiress ,the daughter of one his rich customers who have him built desirable mansions ,all would be forgiven .And if the girl marries a millionaire ,it's only because he is impotent ,under an over possessive mother's thumb :in an amazing scene the mother recognizes the facts.People who know Mankiewicz's "The barefoot Contessa" will notice the similarities between the two "rich" marriages .

Like Max Ophuls' "Lola Montès" ,when her family-in -law denies her,it only remains for her to make a spectacle of herself in a theater ,a place she should never have left.The two scenes in which the girl is on the swing are the most impressive ,with a dazzling camera:there's something disturbing in the first one,when the girl asks for the moon (true and figurative sense)..But "it's only a paper moon sailing over a cardboard sea...it's only a canvas sky..hanging over a muslin tree"

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