Bad Blonde

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A scheming blonde seduces a fighter and convinces him to murder her husband, a fight manager.

ACTORS :  Barbara Payton, Frederick Valk, John Slater

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1953

SHIPPING COST : Australia Free

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Bad Blonde  The film opens at a carnival with two barkers calling for onlookers to enter the tent where an audience member will fight one of the professional boxers. In a setup, a trained amateur boxer takes the ring and knocks out one of the pros. The boxer, Johnny Flanigan played by Tony Wright, impresses the carnival promoters such that they take young Flanigan under their wings in an attempt to launch a comeback into prizefighting. Enter Giuseppe Vecchi a wealthy Italian with the connections to back the fighter. Flanigan’s future looks promising until he meets Giuseppe’s wife Lorna Vecchi. Lorna, played by Barbara Payton, married her rich and doting husband when he owned a club where she was a dancer. She’s a true trophy wife all too eager to show her displeasure at her jovial husband’s eccentricities. The first time Flanigan lays eyes on Lorna it’s clear he is ripe for seduction. And seduction is clearly on Lorna’s mind, evident as she licks her lips while her eyes scan Flanigan’s shirtless,…They called me BAD…spelled M-E-N!

The Ringside Bell Rings Twice

In the Hammer British Film Noir BAD BLONDE originally titled THE FLANAGAN BOY, a bulky and not altogether brilliant English boxer gets a shot when his trainer connects with a rich Italian promoter who can make it all happen…

But there are a few catches… First, everyone has to live at a rural lakeside estate where the fighter, Charlie Sullivan (Tony Wright), will prepare for future moneymaking matches…

Second and most important, Charlie needs to get along with the rich man’s baby-faced, perpetually pursed-lipped wife Lorna, played by goading, manipulating, voluptuous and built-for-action with sparks-flying starlet Barbara Payton.

Basically, the first moment Charlie sets his smitten eyes on the sullen temptress, his edge is gone… As is his sanity, to his trainer’s chagrin. Liken to, years later, when Burgess Meredith barks at Sylvester Stallone’s dame-distracted Rocky Balboa: “Women weaken legs!” Nothing changes in the boxing game, it seems…

Nor do the stock ingredients of Film Noir as, inspired by the American-made POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, there’s a naive, ugly, fat little rich guy… herein the lusty, drunken, jovial promoter… naive enough allow his wife to hang around a young and muscular, good looking stud: Leading to temptation for temptation’s sake…

But what helps BAD BLONDE work beyond the cliches are the boxing scenes, filmed like you’re watching each bout from the first row: in every corner. Meanwhile, the eventual murder attempt of Lorna’s husband is wickedly intense, with some terrific and inspired perspective angles…

But overall, too much time wallows in soap operatic dialogue between the boxer and the title character, whose villainy was better when she had a few more rungs to climb.

 

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