Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: Born to Be Bad (1950)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Born to Be Bad (1950)

by Farran Smith Nehme (aka The Self-Styled Siren)

The Siren has been wondering what it would have been like to kiss Nicholas Ray in 1950.

From this you should not deduce that the Siren has a crush on the man. She likes her sex symbols on the louche side, but not quite that louche. Still, as she watched Robert Ryan lay one on Joan Fontaine for the sixth or seventh time in Born to Be Bad, the Siren found the thought crowding out all attempts at more formal analysis. Back goes Fontaine’s head, way back, so far back Ryan could undoubtedly have told us whether she still had her wisdom teeth. Up go Fontaine’s arms as Ryan embraces some part of her that the camera is tactfully cutting off. Down comes Ryan’s mouth on hers, until you can see that he doesn’t part his hair. Just before the Siren started in on her Ray-kissing reverie, she was reminded of the morning that she was watching a backyard bird-feeder and saw a hawk close its talons on a chickadee, then fly off to have its own breakfast elsewhere...

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