Wicked as They Come


Ken Hughes
Columbia Pictures

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.

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16th May 1956

94 mins

1st February 1957

94 mins

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
John Salew
M.C. Page, Chief Accountant
Gil Winfield
(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
Pat Halpin
Airline Passenger
Ian Selby
Airline Passenger
Unknown 21274-05
Airline Passenger
Unknown 21274-19
Robert Gregory
Mayfair Hotel Desk Clerk
Unknown 21274-06
Mayfair Hotel Elevator Operator
Monti de Lyle
Restaurant Headwaiter
Grace Denbeigh-Russell
Secretarial College Instructor
Unknown 21274-07
Unknown 21274-08
Andrew Leigh
Sutton, Accountant
Corinne Grey
Page's Secretary
Unknown 21274-11
Sergeant in Accountant's Office
Jess Conrad
Dancer in Club
Charles Saynor
George, Doling Security Guard
Douglas Stewart
Dowling Business Parter
Unknown 21274-13
Dowling Business Partner
Unknown 21274-14
Dowling Business Partner
Ernest Blyth
Paris Party Guest
Arthur Dibbs
Paris Party Guest
Tony Spear
Paris Party Guest
John McLaren
Paris Party Guest
Louis Matto
Paris Party Waiter
Jeff Silk
Paris Party Guest
Paul Beradi
Paris Party Guest
John Adams
Paris Party Guest
André Maranne
Paris Party Barman
Victor Harrington
Paris Party Guest
Emil Stemmler
Paris Party Waiter
John Wilder
Paris Party Guest
Hilary Sesta
Modiste's Assistant
Unknown 21274-17
Detective Recording Statements
George Roderick
Gendarme with Wine
Bill Baskiville
Detective with Note
Paddy Smith
Gendarme at Dowling's Mansion
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
Alf Mangan
Photographer Outside Court
Unknown Male 27
Spectator Outside Court
John Lynn
Gendarme Outside Court
Al Mulock
Reporter Outside Court
Mabel Etherington
Spectator Outside Court
Unknown 21274-20
Prison Sister
Unknown 21274-21
Prison Sister
Unknown 21274-22
Prison Guard
Jemma Hyde
Undetermined Role
Arc de Triomphe

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