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Bad girl

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Cleo Moore in
Women's Prison (1955) - Lewis Seiler
image sourced here.

Bad girl movies

"Bad girl movies" are a subcategory of film noir labeled by latter-day movie buffs to describe the dark films of the 1940s and 1950s starring beautiful women who were usually on the wrong side of the law. The movie posters to these films usually featured sexy artwork of the lady in question, posed seductively, and these images today in original posters and reproductions are as collected today, as are the films themselves are on VHS and DVD.

Among the classic "bad girl" performances are Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity (1944), Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven (1945), Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Ann Savage in Detour (1946), Jane Greer in Out of the Past (1948), Joan Bennett in Scarlet Street (1948), Rita Hayworth in The Lady From Shanghai (1948), Marilyn Monroe in Niagra, Cleo Moore in One Girl's Confession (1953), and Jane Russell in The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956). Stanwyck, Savage, Bennett, and Moore made multiple films that fall into the "bad girl movie" category as did Ava Gardner, Gloria Grahame, Dorothy Malone, Beverly Michaels, Lizabeth Scott, Audrey Totter, Claire Trevor, Mamie Van Doren, Marie Windsor, and Shelley Winters.

Perhaps the ultimate bad girl movies are women's prison movies with the women in question behind bars; the majority of these films were made well after the classical film noir period and include one of the more socially-conscious films of the genre, Why Must I Die? --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_girl_movies [Apr 2005]

Bad Girls and Sick Boys (1998) - Linda Kauffman

  • Bad Girls and Sick Boys (1998) - Linda Kauffman [Amazon.com]

    See entry for Linda Kauffman

    Bad Boys (1983) - Rick Rosenthal

  • Bad Boys (1983) - Rick Rosenthal [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Sean Penn delivered a star-making one-two punch in the early '80s, debuting as stoner Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and turning up only a few months later, all but unrecognizable, as a steel-nerved teenage convict in this raw, powerful prison drama--and both performances hold up remarkably well. While the story line of Bad Boys has the familiar contours of classic jailhouse melodrama (Penn's fearless Mick stands tall against a bullying Latino gang boss played by Esai Morales), the sense of tightly wound raw force the actor conveys is so convincing that it's actually a little scary. It goes way beyond the blunt-force impact of a standard action star; Mick's acts of violence are expressions of personality, practically eruptions of his life force. The authenticity of this portrayal is reinforced by the closely observed production design: the youth-prison set is so cunningly textured that many moviegoers took it for the real thing. Ally Sheedy also made her film debut in Bad Boys, as the girl Mick leaves behind on the outside. --David Chute for Amazon.com

    Bad Women: Regulating Sexuality in Early American Cinema (1995) - Janet Staiger

    Bad Women: Regulating Sexuality in Early American Cinema (1995) - Janet Staiger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    How did cultural tensions about "appropriate" behaviour for women play out in early 20th-century films? Janet Steiger examines a classical period in Hollywood cinema during which the notion of the "bad woman" was created, magnified and spread nationwide. She isolates 1907-1915 as the key moment in the struggle over the meaning of "woman" as a sign, and illustrates how such issues as sexuality and hygiene were being reimagined to define an appropriate version of, and explanation for, women's sexuality. The early 1900s saw the repeal of reticence laws, opening up issues of behaviour and sexuality for wide discussion. The movies of the time portrayed "good women" as intelligent, self-assertive, and desiring - as long as what they desired was appropriate and their desire was not excessive. "Bad women" in turn, were wayward and oversexed. She proposes that these images of "good" and "bad" women suggested a middle-class vision of sexual morality, a vision that was not necessarilly repressive, rather a response to how women and women's sexuality might most appropriately fit a developing consumer society. This work provides important and interesting insights about the role of cinema as a redemptive instrument during the progressive era. Staiger examines how self-regulation institutions within the film industry were advocates of one sector of the middle-class. She discusses what effect the formation of the National Board of Review and the New York City censorship board had on sexual regulation through an in-depth exploration of these films: Traffic in Souls", "A Fool There Was" and "The Cheat". --via Amazon.co.uk

    Bad Girls of Pulp Fiction (2002) - Thomas Campbell, Nancy Armstrong, Jason Rekulak

    Bad Girls of Pulp Fiction (2002) - Thomas Campbell, Nancy Armstrong, Jason Rekulak [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    see also: bad girl - pulp - fiction

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