The Woman for Joe (1955)

  |  Drama, Romance


The Woman for Joe (1955) Poster

A sideshow owner and his main attraction, a midget, fall for the same woman.

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5.5/10
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  • The Woman for Joe (1955)
  • The Woman for Joe (1955)
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  • The Woman for Joe (1955)
  • The Woman for Joe (1955)
  • The Woman for Joe (1955)

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14 October 2018 | ouzman-1
10
| It had to be a high score - it was ahead of its time.
A haunting film about prejudice and a bygone time.

That this starts as an excruciating recollection of touring freak shows, that leaves you feeling uncomfortable, this film must be "judged of its time." A fitting tribute to those brave men and women that were judged as "freaks" by the general - and most importantly - paying public.

Try not to wince at the "midget, Dwarf" references - that are used as derogatory - but instead suspend your toe-curling, righteous indignation and consider such dialogue as necessary to the plot.

Then judge the performance of the star: no not Mrs Connery (Cilento), or George Baker (found at odds with his Irish-showman persona, regularly slipping out of Irish brogue to middle- class RP) but THE star JIMMY A KAROUBI.

Yes I use the capital letters to suggest that someone should shout out loud at his performance. Stuffed full of pathos and probably not promoted as the film's leading man, due simply to his size; the film is, after all, entitled "The Woman for Joe."

This is the story of "Buttons" and his visceral passion for his "Cinderella" is haunting. Spun differently by the film's producers as a romance between the leading man and woman ( Cilento and Baker). The producers were, to be blunt, not brave enough to realise that this film could have been breaking down the barriers before the likes of Verne Troyer and Warwick Davis emerged fifty years later.

J.A.K was groundbreaking in the development of stand-and-be-counted actors of his 'genre' - excuse me if I must categorise him here. Achondroplasia and spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita are cruel burdens. I salute all that have such cards dealt to them

To conclude. Jimmy acts the pants off them all, well nearly all - Kosoff is his reliable self, and Violet Fairbrother, who had appeared in Hitchcock films, both add a secure gravitas to the film. George and Diane finally catch up with Jimmy's performance, and help provide the film with a moving end.

Can Buttons carry off Cinders, away from the gallant Prince Charming? You will have to watch to find out. That he finally finds "a princess" is terribly troubling. Jimmy referred to as "an extraordinary fine specimen" by the Doctor in the final scene is troubling but it would have left the 50s viewer mindful of people's prejudice and of their, which I feel was the point being made by both the director and producer. It was ahead of its time.

The film is worth the watch, albeit it may be a little uncomfortable to modern senses. To me it is haunting and is on a par with David Lynch's "Elephant Man." I hope that you might understand that sentiment.

Watch it and shout up for a little man that, "hates midgets."

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