Kitten with a Whip (1964)

Approved   |    |  Action, Crime, Drama


Kitten with a Whip (1964) Poster

A rising political star faces scandal and blackmail when the young woman he tries to help turns out to be a juvenile delinquent.


4.9/10
1,186

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20 March 2010 | efitness
Sexy Ann-Margret puts the "Act" in Hyperactive
"You poke that finger at that dial mister, and that's when I start screaming rape!" I usually find bad acting and poor performances boring to watch and frustrating to subject myself to, but Ann-Margret's performance in "Kitten With A Whip" is so kinetically awful that she virtually invents a whole new kind of awfulness.

As Jody Dvorak, the wildly unbalanced kitten of the title, Ann-Margret affects the line readings, attitudes and camp posturings that most drag queens can only dream about. It's a strangely compelling performance because it's like one given by a person who's never seen acting before. If you've ever seen Katherine O'Hara's Lola Heatherton character on "SCTV," you get a pretty good idea of Ann-Margret's brand of naturalism.

The film is so overheated that it defies being taken seriously, so much of it comes off like a comedy of errors that befall the woodenly sincere John Forsythe as he attempts to extricate himself from the spiraling mess his life has become since crossing paths with Jody.

The film is so undistinguished that everybody involved should be indebted to Ann-Margret. She is terrible, to be sure, but she is the only life the film has and is endlessly watchable. She gives even the most innocuous lines megatons of energy…so much that she's almost too much for the screen. That her career actually survived this delectable mess and she went on to become a rather nuanced actress in later years should give hope to lousy young actresses everywhere.

"Kitten With A Whip" is not only a treat for the eyes (Ann-Margret looks as good as her acting is bad) but for the ears as well. There is so much 60's bop talk that you might need subtitles. My favorite line (among many) : "You musclehead! How come you think you're such a smoky something when you're so nothing painted blue?"

Has to be seen to be believed. Now cool it you creep, and coexist!

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