My Forbidden Past

  • 1951
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

This murky period melodrama has some fair performances by Mitchum and Gardner but they are bogged down in an 1890s soap opera that is both tired and confusing. Gardner is a New Orleans beauty whose adventuress-grandmother earned her fortune by less-than-reputable means, then left Gardner her great wealth upon her death. Gardner has anything and anyone at...read more

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This murky period melodrama has some fair performances by Mitchum and Gardner but they are bogged down in an 1890s soap opera that is both tired and confusing. Gardner is a New Orleans beauty whose adventuress-grandmother earned her fortune by less-than-reputable means, then left Gardner

her great wealth upon her death. Gardner has anything and anyone at her command but all she can see is the bulky body of Mitchum, a married man. She tries to use her money to obtain his love but Mitchum manages to resist her. Then Mitchum's wife, Carter, who is being wooed by cad Douglas (at

Gardner's request to break up Mitchum's marriage), is suddenly killed and Mitchum is blamed for Carter's death. He is tried and about to be convicted when Gardner comes forward at the last moment to save him, but at the expense of revealing the ugly skeletons in her family closet. The production

values are high and the costuming and sets exceptional, but the story is turgid and torpid and director Stevenson can do nothing to bring this one to life. Ann Sheridan was originally slated to play the lead role but Howard Hughes, then the RKO mogul, decided he didn't like her in the vixen part

and borrowed Gardner from MGM for the femme fatale role. Sheridan later sued RKO and Hughes for $350,000 but settled the matter out of court and was later given a part in RKO's APPOINTMENT IN HONDURAS, 1953, as a sop. MY FORBIDDEN PAST, though a curiosity today, is still as hopelessly

uninteresting as it was when first released. Viewers didn't care for it then, either, and the film lost more than $700,000 at the box office.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This murky period melodrama has some fair performances by Mitchum and Gardner but they are bogged down in an 1890s soap opera that is both tired and confusing. Gardner is a New Orleans beauty whose adventuress-grandmother earned her fortune by less-than-re… (more)

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