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Garden of Evil (1954)


brackenhe
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Yes.

 

Also like a Tarzan movie, in search of the elephant burial ground, the high winding trail around the escarpment, also like other in-search-of movies. These movies usually have natives, outlaws, Indians, or tribal people who chase the heroes. Men fight over the lone dame. It's no High Noon.

 

The dialogue and situations seem corny to me.

 

But I'm watching every minute of it to see what happens next! :)

 

(I've been trying for 4 hours to log in and make a post).

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To me, a contrived and cliched story, miscast Susan Hayward, banal dialog, uneven acting, but still worth watching for the often beautiful location shooting, excellent musical score, and Richard Widmark's performance--Widmark is fun and engrossing to watch in every film I can think of.

 

The biggest problem with the film, it seems to me, is that Susan Hayward has none of the irresistable sexual alure, the power to make every man willing to die for her, that the men all talk about and act upon. As usual, she's a powerful actress, intense and tense, moderately pretty, but sexy, no. Think of Ava Gardner in that role or Marylyn Monroe (perhaps the role was even planned for her the Fox starlette?), those would be credable casting choices.

 

 

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I fell asleep during a crucial (I'm assuming here) part of the film between the time Cameron Mitchell left the action & Widmark's demise (sorry to all you spoiler haters.) You're right in that I found it difficult to remain engaged. Cooper seemed uninterested & I agree Hayward wasn't exactly alluring. I did think Marlowe was pretty good. Widmark was the MVP.

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Ya gotta realize however, that when men are stuck in the middle of nowhere for months, on a journey with probable death on one end, and no women in sight for hundreds of miles, even MARY WICKES would seem alluring.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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*even MARY WICKES would seem alluring.*

 

Come on now...ARe You kidding?!? Mary Wickes is a far cry from Susan Hayward in the sexiness meter. Susan's intensity may put some men off, but she was very attractive and always had a nice body, although the young Rita Moreno was much more up my alley. Mary Wickes had a nose, no chin and humor....

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This was a strange Western, begins with three men comming ashore on a beach in Mexico with a broken down steam ship in the bg. they head to the nearest cantina and are serenaded by Rita Moreno. While this is going on Rita Hayworth comes in and offers a $1000 dollars to anyone willing to help her get her husband out of a mine cave in. Since the steamship is out of commison for weeks they go.

 

The whole story leaves you thinking, its dumb, the Mexican who also goes with the Americanos makes markers along the trail to mark the way (like big arrows out of stones, sticks sticking up with arrows pointing the way) but they are at obvious natural or manmade features.

 

This one also has the Indians wearing Eastern woodland Mohawk style hair and on top of that calling them Apaches. Completely out of place in Mexico, maybe they got the extras from Last of The Mohicans, lol,

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*While this is going on Rita Hayworth comes in and offers a $1000 dollars to anyone willing to help her get her husband out of a mine cave in. Since the steamship is out of commison for weeks they go.*

 

This is Susan Hayward, not Rita Hayworth. Incidentally, Susan had another role the following year where she again hires someone to help her find her husband...Its in contemporary China though, and Clark Gable is the titular SOLDIER OF FORTUNE.

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*While this is going on Rita Hayworth comes in and offers a $1000 dollars to anyone willing to help her get her husband out of a mine cave in. Since the steamship is out of commison for weeks they go.*

 

This is Susan Hayward, not Rita Hayworth. Incidentally, Susan had another role the following year where she again hires someone to help her find her husband...Its in contemporary China though, and Clark Gable is the titular SOLDIER OF FORTUNE.

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My favorite word used to describe Miss Hayward is 'tempestuous.' In some ways this prevents her from offering more sympathetic portrayals, but the compensation is that she always offers high-voltage performances, even if bordering a bit too much on the hysteric or melodramatic. I would never call her un-sexy, and she is no runner-up in the Rita Hayworth wannabe department, she is her own distinct type.

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I always find Susan Hayward a little bit on the edgy side in this movie. I think part of the reason is that during the filming she was in the process of getting a divorce from Jess Barker. Perhaps if she had made this movie during a calmer time in her life, her performance would have been much different.,

 

 

 

 

 

Terrence.

 

 

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