Thursday, August 31, 2017
SALOME, WHERE SHE DANCED
At the end of the Civil War, where he first meets a soldier named Cleve (David Bruce),.a reporter named Jim (Rod Cameron) travels abroad to cover the Prussian-Austrian war. There Jim falls in love, as many men have, with a Viennese dancer (Yvonne De Carlo) who becomes known as "Salome" due to her specialty dance number. Accused of spying, Salome must flee Austria with Jim, and the two head for the wild west with an angry and betrayed suitor, Von Bohlen (Albert Dekker) in pursuit. In San Francisco, Jim once again encounters Cleve, who has become a bandit and bears a striking resemblance to a handsome Austrian officer that Salome loved in Europe and who was killed in battle. Salome is torn between Cleve and Jim -- while also being wooed by entrepreneur Dimitrioff (Walter Slezak) -- as Von Bohlen corners her in Frisco ... The very, very entertaining Salome, Where She Danced made a major star out of De Carlo, who is not quite convincing as an Austrian ballet dancer (!) but who gives a vivid and more-than-competent performance. The picture has what I call an old-style operetta plot, with bandits returning stolen loot to the townspeople out of admiration for Salome, and this same town (outside Frisco) being renamed "Salome, Where She Danced" in gratitude (to explain the title). In other words, the whole movie is utterly absurd but also charming and well-acted, with the exception of alleged leading man Cameron [Coronado 9], who is wooden and unappealing to say the least. As De Carlo's real love interest, David Bruce nearly steals the picture as the conflicted and almost beautiful bandit, Cleve. Walter Slezak makes an impression as the San Francisco lover of art and lovely ladies, as does Dekker [Suspense] as Von Bohlen; and Marjorie Rambeau [Bad for Each Other] is fine as an old-time actress and boarding house owner named "Madame Europe." De Carlo and Bruce both look gorgeous in Technicolor.
Verdict: Only in the movies ... ***.