Wicked Woman (1953)

wicked woman 1953

Starts with a horrible opening song by Herb Jeffries and doesn’t get much better from there. It takes about forty minutes to develop into something interesting. Beverly Michaels is just awful as a hot blonde who steps off the bus and causes trouble. An acting highlight is Percy Helton as a tailor whose lust-o-meter is in overdrive. This is one of the character actors best performances.

Billie Nash steps off the bus to the eyes of the local male population.  She settles into a rooming house. She carries a phonograph with her so she can blast her favorite song, “Acapulco Nights” over and over. Her neighbor across the hall is Charlie Borg (Percy Helton). He has a tailor shop downstairs. Billie gets a job in a bar owned by Matt (Richard Egan) and Dora Bannister.

Dora is an alcoholic and has Billie sneak her drinks. The combo of alkie wife and disgusted husband is perfect hunting grounds for Billie.  It doesn’t take long for Matt and Billie to get up close and personal. Billie promised Charlie she’d go out on a date with him..then asks him for a loan of twenty bucks. He keeps pestering her about what night they’re going out.

Billie convinces Matt to sell the bar and take off to Mexico with her…along with the money for the bar. At first the plan is to get Dora so drunk she’ll sign the papers without knowing what she’s doing. That falls apart when the buyer, Larry Lowry, says his lawyer, Bill Porter (Frank Ferguson) wants the papers signed in his office.  Unknown to Lowry, Billie will play the part of Dora and forge her signature. Everything is fine in the office….almost.

Along with all of this is Charlie. He’s been keeping his jealous eyes and ears on Billie. He confronts her in the rooming house and she lets the insults fly and shoves him out the door. Charlie’s not putting up with that.

The last half hour isn’t that bad and it really needed a rewrite for the first half and a better actress. She overdoes the part and it falls into parody. Not that Michaels had a decent script to work with but it’s easy to see that she just didn’t have the acting chops to pull off the part no matter how well written it might have been. If you’re a fan of character actors then it’s worth watching it for Percy Helton.

Percy Helton as Charlie-Beverly Michaels as Billie

Percy Helton as Charlie-Beverly Michaels as Billie

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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