4 January 2007 | guanche
A must for Marie Windsor fans. Overly formulaic but entertaining.
Windsor plays a conniving, unfaithful wife whose fed up husband wants to marry a "nice" girl and is willing to make her a fair offer in exchange for a divorce. She makes an exorbitant demand and ups the price by 100 grand after he responds by throwing a drink in her face. This is followed by her shocked father-in-law's remark "no matter how you look at it, that woman is a witch!" To which his son replies "no matter how you spell it either." A good example of some of the clever (not to mention funny) pseudo-profanity and "no-no" innuendo script writers had to develop back then.
As usual, Windsor plays her part to the hilt and makes a very credible villain. Unfortunately, the script writers went overboard with her character, almost making her a caricature of herself. They exaggerate her "W" or "B"ness to such a degree that it becomes unrealistic and even comical. What self-respecting cold, calculating gold-digger would publicly commit adultery with her secretary's fiancée before she was done squeezing her husband? Windsor herself seems to display an inner grin even with her nastiest facial expressions. She no doubt realized how ridiculous some of the script was. In the movie, she owns and lives in an art gallery. Since the real Marie Windsor was a multi-talented individual who achieved some success as a painter and sculptress, I wonder if this is simply coincidental.
I guess one purpose served by making her such a larger than life meanie is to make all the suspects seem equally likely to have killed her.
A mix of true "noir" and standard "whodunit" hurt by overdone melodramatics, yet still worth seeing.