GREEN-EYED BLONDE, THE
(director: Bernard Girard; screenwriters: Dalton Trumbo/Sally Stubblefield; cinematographer: Edward Fitzgerald; editor: Thomas Reilly; music: Leith Sevens; cast: Susan Oliver (greeneyes), Linda Plowman (Betty Abel), Beverly Long (Ouise), Norma Jean Nillson (Cuckoo), Tommie Moore (Trixie Budlong), Roy Glenn (Mr. Budlong), Carla Merey (Joyce), Sally Brophy (Margaret Wilson), Betty Lou Gerson (Mrs.Feruson), Margarot Brayton (Mrs. Adams), Ann Barton (Sal), Juanita Moore (Miss Randall), Olive Blakeney (Miss Vandingham), Raymond Foster (Clift Munster), Jean Inness (Mrs. Nichols), Tom Greenway (Ed), Evelyn Scott (Helen); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Martin Melcher/Sally Stubblefield; Warner Bros. Pictures; 1957-B/W)
“A poorly done exploitation prison drama.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This was the only film produced by Martin Melcher in which his wife, Doris Day, did not perform. It’s a poorly done exploitation prison drama directed by Bernard Girard(“Gone With The West”/”A Name for Evil”) and written by the HUAC blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, who was accused of being a commie lover. Though Sally Stubblefield came up with the story concept, the story was written by Trumbo.
At the Martha Washington School for Girls, a juvenile institute in Southern California, girl inmates unite over a problem one of them faces. The reform school is run by the heartless 23 year serving administrator, Mrs. Nichols (Jean Inness), who could care less for the girls.
The star is not the Greeneyes girl of the title but the unwed teen mother of a 2-year-old, Betsy (Linda Plowman), secretly knocked-up by her detestable mom’s (Ann Barton) amoral boyfriend Ed (Tom Greenway). When she refuses to name the baby’s father, and hides the baby, she’s jailed. In the same jail is the one called Greeneyes (Susan Oliver) who bonds with her. The awful title song refers to her. Other female cons bonding with Betsy include the mentally ill Cuckoo (Norma Jean Nilsson).
When Greeneyes doesn’t tell the authorities where Betsy hid her baby, the guards find the infant and greeneyes has additional time tacked onto her sentence. Unable to deal with that, she escapes when her drug addict boyfriend (Ray Foster) steals a car and gets involved in a police chase that turns tragic.
We’re left with the impression that reform school is about punishment and not reforming the teen female prisoners.
To say the film was poorly directed would be an understatement.
REVIEWED ON 10/5/2020 GRADE: C