Gloria Grahame, as earlier posters in this week’s series have noted, ruled over the dark world of film noir as a femme fatale. Big budget movies do not seem to have been her natural milieu, though she appeared in her share, and worked with distinctive directors from Frank Capra, Edward Dmytryk, Elia Kazan, Fritz Lang, Fred Zinnemann, Robert Wise, to Cecil B. DeMille and, of course, Nicholas Ray in memorable films with large and small budgets. “A” pictures were never her natural milieu, but her presence in two big-time productions at MGM under the choreographed direction of Vincente Minnelli marked both the height and the beginning of her decline as a figure in that period’s glossiest melodramas.
Gloria Grahame is rarely remembered as an archetypal fifties woman: the wife and mother, supportive of her man. Playing these roles in two films in her particular, engagingly off kilter manner, she worked the clichés to the hilt, under Vincente Minnelli at his best and his worst...more