Wicked as They Come

1956

Ken Hughes
Director
Columbia Pictures
Studio

Golddigging Dahl makes her way from the Boston slums to the top of society by using and destroying the lives of every man she meets, only to have karma get her in the end.

Not a very good film, primarily because of a poorly written script. As an astute review by "blanche-2" on IMDb puts it:

"If this film had been a lot worse or a lot better, it could today be a camp classic. Unfortunately it falls in between. Kathy pulls some outrageous stunts, but the script doesn't have enough bite to it. Not only that, it's entirely predictable."

After watching an hour and a half of Dahl's scheming, we are suddenly told what made her this way (she suffered a traumatic event as a teenager). If this had been introduced in any sort of competent way, it would have been thought provoking and changed the tone of the film. Unfortunately it's presented as almost a throwaway gag, and leaves no real impact. Hughes wanted to make a sleazy film, and did; better to have left the moralizing out, and let the film ride a wave of schadenfreude, than to throw in some hasty attempt at 'significance.'

A shame, as the performances are generally good, even with odd character motivations (Goodliffe's spastic nutter) and Dahl being too old by a decade for the role.

Note: Pat Clavin is prominently listed in the opening credits, but I have no idea who she is supposed to be in the film, nor apparently does anyone else. It seems highly likely her role was cut from the final version.

-Dave W.



16th May 1956
Cinema



94 mins
1.66:1


1st February 1957
Cinema

Not Rated

94 mins
1.66:1



HyperLink
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Arlene Dahl
Katrin Alanborg / Kathy Allen
Philip Carey
Tim O'Bannion
(as Phil Carey)
Herbert Marshall
Stephen Collins
Michael Goodliffe
Lawrence 'Larry' Buckham
Ralph Truman
John Dowling
Sid James
Frank Alanborg
(as Sidney James)
David Kossoff
Sam Lewis
Faith Brook
Virginia Collins
Frederick Valk
Mr. Reisner
Marvin Kane
Mike Lewis
Pat Clavin
Undetermined Role
[see note]
Patrick Allen
Chuck
John Salew
M.C. Page, Chief Accountant
Gil Winfield
Willie
(as Gilbert Winfield)
Totti Truman Taylor
Miss M. Russell, Collins' Secretary
Larry Cross
Ken Baker, Television Emcee
Paul Sheridan
Mayfair Hotel Receptionist
Tom Gill
Reisner's Assistant
Frank Atkinson
Mayfair Hotel Porter
Alastair Hunter
Connor, Company Detective
Jacques B. Brunius
Inspector Caron
(as Jacques Brunius)
Anthony Sharp
Troublemaker in Restaurant
Guy Du Monceau
Dowling's Chauffeur
Raf De La Torre
Dowling's Butler
Selma Vaz Dias
Wedding Dress Modiste
Unknown 21274-01
Dreamline Employee
Unknown 21274-02
Dreamline Employee
Unknown 21274-03
Singer on T.V.
Max Butterfield
Emcee's Assistant
(uncredited)
Pat Halpin
Airline Passenger
(uncredited)
Ian Selby
Airline Passenger
(uncredited)
Unknown 21274-05
Airline Passenger
Unknown 21274-19
Stewardess
Robert Gregory
Mayfair Hotel Desk Clerk
(uncredited)
Unknown 21274-06
Mayfair Hotel Elevator Operator
Monti de Lyle
Restaurant Headwaiter
(uncredited)
Grace Denbeigh-Russell
Secretarial College Instructor
(uncredited)
Unknown 21274-07
Jeweler
Unknown 21274-08
Salesgirl
Andrew Leigh
Sutton, Accountant
(uncredited)
Corinne Grey
Page's Secretary
(unconfirmed)
Unknown 21274-11
Sergeant in Accountant's Office
Jess Conrad
Dancer in Club
(uncredited)
Charles Saynor
George, Doling Security Guard
(uncredited)
Douglas Stewart
Dowling Business Parter
(uncredited)
Unknown 21274-13
Dowling Business Partner
Unknown 21274-14
Dowling Business Partner
Ernest Blyth
Paris Party Guest
(uncredited)
Arthur Dibbs
Paris Party Guest
(uncredited)
Tony Spear
Paris Party Guest
(uncredited)
John McLaren
Paris Party Guest
(uncredited)
Louis Matto
Paris Party Waiter
(uncredited)
Jeff Silk
Paris Party Guest
(uncredited)
Paul Beradi
Paris Party Guest
(uncredited)
John Adams
Paris Party Guest
(uncredited)
André Maranne
Paris Party Barman
(uncredited)
Victor Harrington
Paris Party Guest
(uncredited)
Emil Stemmler
Paris Party Waiter
(uncredited)
John Wilder
Paris Party Guest
(uncredited)
Hilary Sesta
Modiste's Assistant
(uncredited)
Unknown 21274-17
Detective Recording Statements
George Roderick
Gendarme with Wine
(uncredited)
Bill Baskiville
Detective with Note
(uncredited)
Paddy Smith
Gendarme at Dowling's Mansion
(uncredited)
Unknown 21274-18
Detective at Dowling's Mansion
Unknown Female 6
Spectator Outside Court
Dave's Unknown Female 1
Spectator Outside Court
Ned Lynch
Gendarme Outside Court
(uncredited)
Alf Mangan
Photographer Outside Court
(uncredited)
Unknown Male 27
Spectator Outside Court
John Lynn
Gendarme Outside Court
(uncredited)
Al Mulock
Reporter Outside Court
(uncredited)
Mabel Etherington
Spectator Outside Court
(uncredited)
Unknown 21274-20
Prison Sister
Unknown 21274-21
Prison Sister
Unknown 21274-22
Prison Guard
Jemma Hyde
Undetermined Role
Arc de Triomphe
Itself

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes
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