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Playing February 17th at the Regent Square Theater
This classic 1958 film noir, adapted from letters written by Barbara Graham and newspaper articles written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ed Montgomery, tells the true story of a prostitute and perjurer, Barbara Graham (Susan Hayward), a habitual criminal convicted of murder and facing execution. The product of a broken home who works luring men into fixed card games, at one point, Barbara attempts to go straight but marries the "wrong man" and has a child. After she ends their relationship because of his drug addiction, her life falls apart, and she returns to her former professions, becoming involved with a man who had murdered a woman. When the police arrest them, her companions accuse her of the murder to reduce their own chances of going to the gas chamber. Though claiming her innocence, she is convicted and executed.
The jazz score by Johnny Mandel would inspire many other filmmakers to utilize jazz soundtracks.
The film was nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Director but scored only one win with Susan Hayward’s tour de force performance for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 31st Academy Awards. She would also win top honors at The Golden Globes as well as many international film festivals for her incredible portrayal.
120 mins | Directed by Robert Wise | Starring Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland, Virginia Vincent, Theodore Bikel | 1958 USA