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Favorite Films: His Kind of Woman (1951)

A Film Noir That Just Happens to Be Wildly Entertaining

A Film Noir That Just Happens to Be Wildly Entertaining

Most film noir productions take themselves pretty seriously, but His Kind of Woman is an exception. Robert Mitchum (as Dan Milner) is hanging out at a Mexican resort with Jane Russell (as Lenore Brent) after having been advanced fifteen thousand dollars for some unknown reason. No one seems to know what is going on, until the word is about that mafioso Raymond Burr (as Nick Ferraro) is on his way to meet him. Ferraro has been banned from the U.S. and is tired of his Italian exile, so he plans to return to the States—as Dan Milner.

About midway through the film, Vincent Price (as Mark Cardigan) pretty much steals the show, playing an actor who likes to hunt, fish, and collect mistresses, including Jane Russell. When it comes time for the shooting, however, Price dons a cape, begins spouting Shakespeare, commandeers a Mexican police squadron, and takes on Ferraro and his goons with his hunting rifles.

His Kind of Woman was directed by John Farrow and (uncredited) Richard Fleischer. Although there was a lot of re-shooting to please executive producer Howard Hughes, the film isn’t as jagged as it might have been. It alternates between a film noir grimness and goofy satire.

I had seen he end several times, but last night was the first time I sat through the entire picture.