Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Noir Watch?: Bad For Each Other (1953)

Watched:  06/05/2024
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  First
Director:  Irving Rapper

Well, this was on Noir Alley, so I gave it a spin.

It was the definition of "fine".  I don't really have much to say about it.  

A young Charlton Heston plays a doctor on leave at the end of the Korean War (after having served in WWII and Korea).  He comes back to his hometown, one of the coal mines outside of Pittsburgh.  

He meets Lizbeth Scott, who wants to be on Chuck, and he reciprocates after trying to resist her charms and offer of entree to cafe society.  

He soon finds himself just treating rich old ladies and young ladies who hope he'll make a move.  

Eventually his hot nurse convinces him he's not doing medicine, and then he has to help miners out, and the movie ends with him bailing on Lizbeth Scott and opening a practice in Coalville.  The End.

I mean, it *is* interesting to see a movie about a doctor deciding if he wants to live large while selling pills to rich people, or doing real medicine for people who need it.  And lord knows Heston could throw himself bodily into such a role.  

I'm not a huge Lizbeth Scott fan.  She's good, but there's a sort of detachment to how she plays things that makes it hard for me to click with what she's doing.  She's as good as ever here, but she and Heston just lack chemistry.  I believed his relationship more in The Omega Man.  

The best scene in the thing comes toward the end when Heston has to help the miners.  It's genuinely good stuff.  Well shot, etc...

Were Heston and Scott bad for each other?  Yes.  The movie told us that they would be, and, indeed, they were.  I do like her character's blunt honesty and, man, she got some nice gowns in this.

Muller programmed this, I think, to talk about writer Horace McCoy, who also wrote They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, which is the goddamn most depressing way you can read a fictional book in, like, four hours.  (It's good, but.)

Is this movie noir?  I mean, no... I don't think so?  It just feels like a melodrama.  And yet, it was on Noir Alley.  So I'll give it the tag and shrug and move on.

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