Click on the headline to link to a Noir of the Week review of the British film noir Bad Blonde
Bad Blonde, starring Barbara Payton, Hammer Film Classics, 1953
Some guys will tell you straight up-never trust a blonde, a good-looking blonde, because she has nothing but murder in her heart and gold more yellow than her hair driving her soul, if she has a soul. Other guys will tell you always trust a blonde, because like the blond in Dorothy Parker’s short story, “Big Blonde,” she has a heart of gold (and unrequited deep sexual urges too). Me, I can take them or leave, although the blonde in the British crime noir under review, Bad Blonde, should make any man think twice, no, six times before getting mixed up with her. Of course her badness drives this film, and no other attribute.
Of course the story line here is as old as the hills, or as old as there have been hot blondes giving their all to gold-digging, female god-digging, whichever came first. Lorna (played by Barbara Payton), an ex-tramp or something like that, got her hooks into an old- time Italian boxing promoter.
Strictly for the dough and security, okay, after too much time in the flops. But the guy is a buffoon, a rich old buffoon, but a buffoon. Enter one good-looking Johnny Flanagan, a young fighter with promise, and big muscles. They fall for each other, while he is training for the big fight. End of story.
Well, not quite. Although if you have seen enough crime noir you know you have seen this plot unravel before, and more elegantly, in the film adaptation of James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice and others. At some point the old geezer husband is just, well, just in the way, and Lorna starts working her “magic”. Naturally Johnny comes to see things her way, kills that old- time promoter (showing a little ingratitude by the way) by drowning him in his very own pond and that is that. Except Johnny (not Lorna though) has plenty of remorse. Remorse enough want to go to the police and confess. Lorna, in clover now, fails to see it that way and poisons her lovely Johnny. But you know she will not get away with that, no way. Bad blond, indeed
[Note: On the great blonde controversy mentioned above I truly can take them or leave them, good or bad. My preference is strictly brunettes lately (although there was a time when I had a run of red-heads but that was kid time, and in the Irish ghetto, where you could hardly walk around the block without running into one who wanted to play some game with you). And believe brunettes are just as capable of leading you on a merry chase, of getting their hooks in you, into you good, as any dizzy blonde, Enough said.]