Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


SORORITY GIRL (1957). Director: Roger Corman.

"You were a brat the day you were born. It was in your eyes."

Co-ed Sabra Tanner (Susan Cabot) is a poor, misunderstood rich girl, essentially ignored by her mother (Fay Baker), who acts out in evil ways because she doesn't know what else to do. Her manipulations nearly lead to tragedy. This is a surprisingly entertaining low-budget"bad girl" movie that works not just because of a workable, if minor-league script, but good acting and Corman's brisk and adept direction. Although thirty years old at the time, Susan Cabot is excellent in the lead. She has a great scene with her mother [Fay Baker is as good in this as she was playing Bette Davis' parasitic sister in The Star; she was actually only ten years older than Cabot]. Learning that her mother is cutting off her allowance, Cabot pauses and gives a consummate, barely controlled, ever-so-patient rendering of "I Hate You!" There's also a lively scene when Sabra takes a paddle to the fanny of her moping dog and slave, Ellie (Barbara Crane), who seems to have a crush on her, not to mention the brief if zesty cat fight between Sabra and the much bigger Rita (Barboura Morris). June Kenney of Earth vs. the Spider has a role as a pregnant waitress that Sabra importunes to blackmail bar owner Mort (Dick Miller), who is not the father. Miller is as good as ever. Ronald Stein's score has a rich sound to it. Cabot was a fine actress who deserved a bigger career. Sadly her last film was The Wasp Woman; ten years later she had one TV credit. Corman may have given a lot of actors their start in show business, but appearing in his films didn't do most of them much good, Jack Nicholson notwithstanding. Barbara Crane had only one other credit.

Verdict: Swell melodrama. ***.

1 comment:

watch movies said...

Thanks for reviews ! Never hared about it. I heard "Sorority Row", "Sorority Boys" as a movie name but don't have any idea that there is movie with the name "SORORITY GIRL". Would surely go for it.