Monday, August 19, 2013

"Madame X" is Hilariously Bad, Smaltzy Melodrama

I am screaming at the TV to Keir Dullea, “she’s your mother,” where Lana Turner is dying in the final scene of Universal-International’s 1966 schmaltzy melodrama “Madame X.”  Ms. Turner’s acting must have been inspired by Veda Ann Borg’s scenes in “Revenge of the Zombies,” but then Ms. Borg didn’t have any dialogue in that Monogram epic.  We are asked to believe that a 40-something Turner is the mother of a toddler.  Pleaz.  Somehow I think this would have been a better effort with Douglas Sirk directing and Dorothy Malone or Piper Laurie in the title role.  This was a Ross Hunter production and he scored successes with “Imitation of Life” and the Doris Day Rock Hudson comedies.  After MGM unraveled Ms. Turner found herself at U-I, which was definitely a different kettle of fish for her.  Poor thing.  She would have been great in “This Island Earth.”

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