HIS KIND OF WOMAN (director: John Farrow; screenwriters: Frank Fenton/Jack Leonard/from unpublished story by Gerald Drayson “Star Sapphie”; cinematographer:Harry Wild; editors: Eda Warren/Frederic Knudtson; music Leigh Harline; cast: Robert Mitchum (Dan Milner), Jane Russell (Lenore Brent), Vincent Price (Mark Cardigan), Tim Holt (Bill Lusk), Charles McGraw (Thompson), Raymond Burr (Nick Ferraro), Jim Backus (Myron Winton), Majorie Reynolds (Helen Cardigan), John Mylong (Martin Kraft), Raymond Burr (Nick Ferraro), Philip Van Zandt (Jose Morro), Stacy Harris (Harry), Richard Bergren (Milton Stone); Runtime: 118; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Robert Sparks; RKO; 1951)
“Price’s role was priceless as the conceited thespian quoting Shakespeare during perilous moments.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An oddball tongue-in-cheek crime thriller, filled with ad-libs, from Howard Hughes’ RKO studio that strays from its conventional film noir plot to try its hand at comedy. John Farrow ably directs while Frank Fenton and Jack Leonard pen the witty screenplay based on the unpublished story by Gerald Drayson “Star Sapphie.” It offers such diverting dialogue as sampled by the following three treats: 1)”Fools get away with the impossible because they are the only ones who try it.” 2) “You are not going to find a thing except yourself.” 3) “She’s beautiful, that’s always interesting.”
Down-on-his-luck gambler Dan Milner (Robert Mitchum) receives an offer in LA, after a beating administered by bookies he owes money to, for $50,000 he can’t refuse, to stay out of the country for a year while he’s put up in a remote luxurious retreat in Mexico called Morro’s Lodge. What he doesn’t realize until it’s too late is that he’s being setup for a patsy by Nick Ferraro (Raymond Burr), deported mafia kingpin, who plans to return illegally to the States from Italy by assuming Milner’s identity.
Milner makes the acquaintance of the buxom singer Lenore Brent (Jane Russell), who is posing as a heiress. The honest gambler falls for her, but soon learns she’s staying in Morro’s Lodge to unite with the popular self-absorbed ham actor Mark Cardigan (Vincent Price). Price’s role was priceless as the conceited thespian quoting Shakespeare during perilous moments. The gold digging Lenore looks at him as her wealthy savior, as she gives herself two weeks down here to nab him as a hubby. When it turns out that Mark’s divorce to Helen hasn’t gone through and Helen arrives, Lenore sets her sights on the mysterious Milner.
Preoccupied with gangster Thompson (Charles McGraw) posing as a PR man and the sinister looking Krafft (John Mylong), a plastic surgeon posing as a writer, Milner mixes romance and intrigue with helping honeymoon guests to deal with their gambling money problems.
After a murder of a federal cop (Tim Holt), a few double-crosses and shootings, a captured Milner averts a deadly injection from Krafft and is rescued by a gallant Mark leading the charge of the Mexican police to overtake the gangster’s docked ship. His Kind of Woman ends with Mitchum asked by Russell while he’s ironing money, “What do you press when you’re broke?” Mitchum: “When I’m broke, I press my pants.” It’s a part where Mitchum is perfectly at home with being a loner anti-hero and Russell is perfectly cast as the bouncy ‘his kind of woman,’ who in the last shot kisses him while his pants are being scorched by the iron–a perfect metaphor to end on.
REVIEWED ON 12/15/2004 GRADE: B +
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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