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

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Dumbrille, Lind and Vickers set a scheme in motion
ALIMONY (1949). Alfred Zeisler.

Composer Dan Barker (John Beal) relates the story of a woman he was once in love with, Kitty Travers (Martha Vickers), to her estranged father (James Guilfoyle), who hasn't seen her in years. Show biz aspirant Kitty stayed in the same boarding house with Barker, who was affianced to pretty Linda (Hillary Brooke). But Kitty works her wiles on Dan, who is just about to sign to do a Broadway show, and before long the man has dumped poor Linda in favor of Kitty. Unfortunately for Dan, the Broadway deal comes a cropper and Linda is soon off looking for greener pastures. But even when Dan and Linda are finally married, Kitty comes back into their lives because she was the inspiration for a song Dan composed that becomes a big hit [and isn't that memorable]. Again Dan acts like a complete jerk, Kitty a total skank, and as for dopey Linda ... let's just say that Alimony is the kind of irritating melodrama where a perfectly nice and attractive woman is treated abysmally by her man but still seems to think only the other woman is to blame. Neal, Vickers and Brooke give good performances, as do Douglass Dumbrille as an oily lawyer who works with Kitty and her friend Helen (a snappy Laurie Lind, who was introduced in this picture and never made another movie) and Marie Blake (AKA Blossom Rock of Hilda Crane) who plays the landlady of the boarding house. The title refers to the fact that Helen and Kitty marry or try to marry wealthy older men so that they can divorce them and collect you-guessed-it.

Verdict: Nice actors and premise but this is forgettable. **.

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