Shot partially on location in Hawaii and at the Twentieth Century Fox studios in Los Angeles in 1956, this film recreates the atmosphere of the islands before and during the Second World War. Because of her Amazonian good looks and the notorious publicity associated with "The Outlaw" few critics have given Jane Russell her due as a dramatic actress. In this film, directed expertly by the old-hand Raoul Walsh, she plays a no-nonsense out-on-her-luck prostitute -here disguised in the usual Hollywood manner as a dance hall hostesswho falls for the rich guy on the hill. Unlike the other sex-goddesses of her time, foremost of all Marilyn Monroe who had been offered the part and turned it down, Jane shows none of that little-girl innocence and vulnerability of her sexy competitors; here she is as tough as nails, a big tomboy with a great body who knows exactly what she has and what it's worth. All business. Particularly memorable is a heated scene with Richard Egan in which she explains why she is obsessed with making money. It is probably one of the most convincing portrayals of a hooker without a heart of gold in film.
The Revolt of Mamie Stover
Action / Drama
The Revolt of Mamie Stover
Action / Drama
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Set in the early '40s, a San Francisco prostitute is run out of town just as the second World War has begun to intensify. Mamie settles down in Hawaii, hoping to start a new life. Though her prospects look good when she falls in love with a science-fiction writer who treats her with the respect she deserves, the dawning war and the fallacies of her previous lifestyle complicate their budding romance. Mamie cannot fully remove herself from her former profession, and provides some of her old services to the sailors stationed in town. Searching for another means of financial security, Mamie invests in several pieces of real estate and becomes quite wealthy, though her bad reputation has not been forgotten by the locals.
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Hooker w/o Heart of Gold
If the part called for a redhead
If The Revolt Of Mamie Stover had been done at Columbia Pictures Harry Cohn would have made this the big budget film of the year and had Rita Hayworth doing it. As it was 20th Century Fox had Susan Hayward under contract and I'll bet this was offered to her first.
With her tresses a flaming Arlene Dahl red, Jane Russell plays the title role in this film. She's a working girl who's been kicked out of San Francisco for her notoriety. But Jane's heard of job opportunities in Honolulu working in another den of iniquity run by Agnes Moorehead with Michael Pate as her enforcer. She also meets on the tramp freighter she's traveling on Richard Egan with whom it's on and off for the next few years from before World War II and after.
Jane's smart about money though and she saved her's and invested it in picking up cheap real estate from people leaving Hawaii after Pearl Harbor. She's rich post war, but hardly respectable.
It's what she craves most, respectability as she tells Egan about her white trash background from Mississippi. Funny that Russell doesn't have the slightest trace of southern accent or even attempts one.
Russell is good in the title role, but the plot really doesn't go anywhere. I can't begin to fathom what Richard Egan's character is all about the script is unintelligible where he's concerned. And the story has a sudden death ending that leaves you hanging.
Not her best film, but it does have some nice Hawaiian numbers one of which Bing Crosby recorded for a Hawaiian album he did, Keep Your Eyes On The Hands.
No sadder but wiser girl for him.
It's World War II Honolulu and good time girl Jane Russell has just arrived there after being kicked out by the vice squad from San Francisco. So you know she's not there to learn how to do the hula unless it means getting a large bank account to go with it. Russell fills out the screen once again in glorious Technicolor and cinemascope, playing a character who find true love with an army officer (Richard Egan) what can't resist the profits that come with an increased revenue at Agnes Moorehead's not quite so clean canteen. Egan even gives up good girl Joan Leslie for him and when he leaves for military duty it is with the promise that she will be faithful while waiting for him. but as Morehead realizes how invaluable Russell is, she increases Russell's profits to basically where Morehead isn't getting any profit from Russell's presence.
This had the potential to knock em' all out of the park with its innuendos that could not pass the censorship. Of course the book on which this was based was a lot more racy, and Russell really isn't shown doing anything outside of the ordinary flirtation and performing a seductive musical number.
Russell of course is the majority of the whole show, but Egan is a handsome and graceful leading man. Leslie is wasted in a superficial role and other than a few good scenes, Moorehead doesn't really have anything juicy to do outside of her firing strict assistant Michael Pate who attempts to dominate all of the girls, especially Russell who cannot be controlled. An uncomfortable moment for Morehead occurs when she stops page from telling her how ugly she is, rich in the. Of just a moment says a lot more about Moorehead's character than the script allows her to show. She is of course commanding in the scene where she reveals her past story to Russell as a way of keeping her working for her, and unlike what the nasty Pate says, Moorehead is far from ugly even if it is obvious that her character is a very unhappy female.
The ending is rather Bittersweet, reminding me of the beginning and the end of the movie version of "Pal Joey", released just the following year. Russell does get some moments to show who this character is underneath all her hardness and in her one musical number, shows exactly why Mamie Stover could have indeed been the most popular pin-up girl in Pearl Harbor Hawaii. That scene alone is very tense as the people in the surrounding area can hear the bombing occur and think at first it's some type of drill until the news tells them otherwise. this is a film that has a lot going for it but ultimately is nothing more than glorified, glamorous trash, tied up in a pretty ribbon, but when it is opened, revealing something that's no sensible member of the audience probably didn't realize anyway.