The love between a sultry cabaret singer and the manager of a road-house is thwarted by the jealous and vengeful owner (1948 20th Century Fox Directed by Jean Negulesco 95 mins)
A melodrama made memorable by a bravura performance from Ida Lapino as a cynical cabaret singer who finds love. Her rendition of “One for My Baby” with a bluesy solo piano accompaniment is arresting, and her sensuality is palpable and provocative. She delivers her cynical lines with a world-weary cigarette-smokey voice and her one-liner put-downs are delivered with perfect timing. She is one hot dame, and the passions she arouses are very believable.
Richard Widmark is strong in only his third role as the schizoid road-house owner who covets Ida, but a stolid Cornel Wilde as Widmark’s manager and rival for the singer’s affection is a damper on the action.
The movie is set-bound and it shows, but veteran director Jean Negulesco composes interesting and fluid takes with almost-noir lighting.