Miss Sadie Thompson

  • 1953
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Every actress of note has longed to play a prostitute on screen, considering such an ignoble part a real challenge, and no story delved more deeply or significantly into the sluttish heart than Maugham's "Rain." Jeanne Eagels made the role of Sadie legendary, as did Gloria Swanson and myriad others, not the least of whom was Joan Crawford in RAIN. Hayworth,...read more

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Every actress of note has longed to play a prostitute on screen, considering such an ignoble part a real challenge, and no story delved more deeply or significantly into the sluttish heart than Maugham's "Rain." Jeanne Eagels made the role of Sadie legendary, as did Gloria Swanson and

myriad others, not the least of whom was Joan Crawford in RAIN. Hayworth, who had specialized in vamps for decades--as Dona Sol in BLOOD AND SAND and in the title role of SALOME, to name two--made a memorable Miss Thompson. The tropical tramp shows up on a Pacific island just after WW II, to be

greeted by salivating Marines, chiefly sergeant Ray who falls in love with Hayworth and proposes. She almost accepts but is thwarted by religious zealot Ferrer who condemns her and insists she return to San Francisco where she is wanted on a morals charge. She begs to be sent somewhere, anywhere

else. Meanwhile, Hayworth, to pass the steamy nights away, joins the Marines in their makeshift saloon to shake her hips about with such tunes as "The Heat Is On," "Hear No Evil, See No Evil," and Best Song Oscar nominee "Blue Pacific Blues" ("Sadie Thompson's Song" by Lester Lee and Ned

Washington). Ferrer, however, is like a terrier and won't let go of Hayworth, insisting she embrace religion. She does, genuinely atoning for her past sins, but it's all for naught. Ferrer's real reason for persecuting her is that he wants her for himself. He rapes her and commits suicide the next

day. Hayworth, a little wiser but no longer interested in having her soul saved, leaves the island, apparently intending to return to San Francisco to pay her dues. Filmed in Hawaii, this is an oddball film in that it was originally intended to be a musical but, with only three songs, it lacked a

consistent score. One song, "The Heat is On," offers a display of erotic dancing seldom seen on the screen, as Rita drives the ogling Marines to near-frenzy. She gives a fiery performance and carries the film. Ferrer, who later stated that he took on the role of the religious nut only to offset

criticism about his supposed un-American activities, is trapped in a one-dimensional role. Ray is wholly inept, playing the role of the sergeant as a big, dumb, gullible guy where he was savvy and a sharp character in the original script (much better played by William Gargan in RAIN). Filmed

originally in 3-D.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Every actress of note has longed to play a prostitute on screen, considering such an ignoble part a real challenge, and no story delved more deeply or significantly into the sluttish heart than Maugham's "Rain." Jeanne Eagels made the role of Sadie legenda… (more)

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