Born to Be Bad | Chicago Reader

Born to Be Bad

It doesn't have any reputation, probably because Nicholas Ray isn't known for his women's pictures, but this is a lively, vicious, and daring film—perhaps the most stylistically audacious of Ray's films before his delirious Johnny Guitar. Joan Fontaine is the apparently innocent girl who marries millionaire Zachary Scott while continuing her passionate affair with novelist Robert Ryan (excellent as always under Ray's direction). Meanwhile, waspish Mel Ferrer hovers around the action, threatening to expose Joan's true character. Ray insistently cuts on movement, giving the whole film an effective instability; every sequence seems volatile, every exchange of looks a threat. With Joan Leslie (1950).

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