Walk On The Wild Side

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A man arrives in New Orleans searching for his former girlfriend, an artist who now works in a bordello.

ACTORS :  Laurence Harvey, Capucine, Jane Fonda

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1962

POSTAGE : Free postage within Australia

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Walk On The Wild Side  At the Doll House, a 1930’s New Orleans bordello, Hallie is the main attraction both for clients and for Jo, the madame. Her comfortable if tedious life is disrupted by the arrival in town of Dove Linkhorn, her true love of three years before who is now searching for her. When Linkhorn learns the truth of her profession he triggers a chain of events involving a number of people, including the young Kitty with whom he travelled from Texas and who is now the Doll House newest recruit.

Love for sale in New Orleans…

Walk On The Wild Side  Laurence Harvey is terrific as a penniless Texas cowboy who hitches his way to New Orleans in the 1930s in search of a lost summer love, a French artist who–unbeknownst to him–is now working at a bordello; Barbara Stanwyck is the madame at the Doll House, married to a crippled tough but with heavy lesbian leanings towards Capucine, the girl who broke Harvey’s heart; Jane Fonda is pretty good as a teen tramp who also ends up working for Stanwyck, and Anne Baxter is a proprietress of a diner who takes Harvey in. Though based on a novel by Nelson Algren, this screenplay sometimes plays like sub-Tennessee Williams, with the rather laughable story-conceit that New Orleans was just another small town in the ’30s (walk up the street and you’ve seen it all!). Capucine, haughty and breathless, matches up well with Harvey, and her run-ins with benefactor Stanwyck are heated, but those hoping for some crackling gay subtext will be disappointed (Barbara’s inclinations aren’t hypothetical, but she’s hardly out of the closet). There are some good, fruity lines of tough-talking dialogue and also some sentimental moments with surprising resonance (as when Baxter says, “Why can’t two people care about each other…without the world making it dirty?”). Of course it’s Hollywood-ized, with a camp score by Elmer Bernstein and Joanna Moore in the clichéd role of the good-hearted tootsie who gets taken for granted. But Fonda has a great scene near the end when she helps Capucine out of a jam, and Harvey makes a big impression on the audience without overstating his sleek handsomeness

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