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 Shaw, a beautiful showgirl caught in a love triangle with elderly architect Stanford White and eccentric young millionaire Harry K. Thaw.

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  • Joan Collins and Ray Milland in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)
  • Joan Collins in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)
  • Joan Collins and Farley Granger in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)
  • Joan Collins and Ray Milland in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)
  • Joan Collins in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)
  • Joan Collins in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)

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8 October 2010 | bkoganbing
7
| The Most Famous Sex Triangle Of The Ragtime Era
If you made a completely factual account of the famous Thaw-Nesbit-White triangle which scandalized the folks of the Theodore Roosevelt era, I suspect none of these people would be regarded as innocent. But with 20th Century Fox entitling their film about the case The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing you know the accent will be on Joan Collins as Evelyn Nesbit as a wronged woman.

Collins with her involvements first with the married Stanford White played by Ray Milland and later marrying the homicidal Harry K. Thaw played by Farley Granger is shown as a girl just in over her head before she realizes it. In real life pushed by an ambitious stage mother, chorus girl Evelyn was well aware of her spectacular beauty even as a teen and it was as a teen that she met Stanford White who seduced her.

White on the other hand was a notorious rake, a fact his wife in the film played by Frances Fuller realizes and accepts. In the beginning he sees her off to Europe and Ray Milland is off to fun and frolic. If you see a picture of the real Stanford White he had a huge handlebar mustache which no doubt tickled many fancies. Milland plays him clean shaved.

And Harry Thaw was definitely a candidate for the rubber room. Of the three in the triangle Farley Granger more closely captures his character than either Milland or Collins. What is not shown is that in addition to his psychological problems, Thaw was also a drug addict. That was not something discussed in polite society and in fact a subject rarely brought up by Hollywood during the rule of the Code. The same year The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing came out, Hollywood finally an honest film about dope addiction with Otto Preminger's The Man With The Golden Arm.

None of these people are candidates for sainthood. White, the most brilliant architect of his time was a rake, Nesbit was a gold digger and more than likely may berated have husband Thaw with tales of Stanny's sexual prowess and Thaw was just nuts.

So tilting this film toward Nesbit gave us the film we have which is not a bad one. Collins, a third choice to play Nesbit after Marilyn Monroe and Sheree North, was definitely great in the role. The film is more or less factually true, but it's all a question of spin.

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