6 May 2004 | pzanardo
An unbalanced movie; all in all, not bad
"Party girl" is a peculiar movie, starting with its title. In fact, the title recalls a light comedy in the style of the 1930/1940s. On the contrary, we deal with a drama/gangster-story of rare toughness (for the standards of the 1950s). The violence of some scenes is really scary. We recognize the hand of director Nicholas Ray. We even have an excellent action sequence which anticipates a famous sequence of "The Godfather". The story is interesting, the cinematography is good and accurate.
Unfortunately, this is an unbalanced movie. Vicky, very well played by beautiful Cyd Charisse, is a rather innovative character. But her dance numbers, so patently instrumental to show Cyd's legendary legs and phenomenal dancing skills, are just stuck to the film. A thorough and interesting psychological study of Thomas Farrell (Robert Taylor) is made. But the film is nearly marred by a huge flaw. The badly crippled Farrell has a miracle-surgery in Europe (?) and returns perfectly healed! (alas! that's not yet possible in the 2000s, let alone in the 1930s). And then the formerly crooked corrupt lawyer Farrell turns into the noblest possible person. Come on! At any rate, Taylor gives one of the best performance of his career. John Ireland is a great thug. Lee J. Cobb (as usual looking twenty years older than his actual age) makes an outstanding job as the suave, cruel gangster Rico. The action scenes, though well-filmed, are too scarce for a gangster movie. Besides the magical surgery, other twists of the plot are unlikely.
You see, "Party girl" has remarkable merits and flaws, as well. All in all, not a bad movie.