Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bad Boys - I

All girls love them. All mother's hate them. Falling for a bad boy is the universally bad choice thousands of women have made and have universally regreted. Hollywood has given us a nice bunch of these wonderfully flawed and sometimes devastatingly cruel men to swoon over from the safe distance of our seats. Let's take a look at a few of my favorites.

Johnny Farrell
Gilda 1946

Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) has been burned bad by a vixen named Gilda and he is a cold cold man who has sworn off all women. Suddenly, Gilda reappears and throws a monkey wrench into his nice new life as the number 2 man to underground casino proprietor/possibly Nazi sympathizer/cane carrying Ballin Mundson. It's a pretty big monkey wrench because Gilda returns as Ballin's new wife. What follows is a sexually charged and completely antagonistic relationship that fools no one. Following the death of her husband Johnny slaps Gilda around and keeps her locked away but through a strange series of events including the "dead" husband's return and his sharp little friend, some intrigue with tungsten mines and a fake boyfriend in Montevideo, Gilda and Johnny's dramatic love hate relationship ends on a high note.

Hud Bannon
Hud 1963

Hud Bannon (Paul Newman) is a reckless, irresponsible, selfish man who enjoys women and booze equally. His recklessness caused the death of his beloved older brother and there is no love lost between Hud and his father, Homer. Hud brawls in bars, races around town in his Cadillac convertible, carouses with married women and is a all around no good guy. But it's Paul Newman and even though the film is in black and white his baby blues could lead any girl down a shameful path. Even Bannon family housekeeper, Alma, almost gives in...until Hud plays too rough and won't take no for an answer. His nephew Lonnie also thinks the world of him until he realizes that all those things he's heard about Uncle Hud are really true. But being a no good son of a bitch almost always guarantees loneliness and in the end Hud finds himself unloved and all alone.

Frankie Madison
I Walk Alone 1948

Frankie wouldn't be such a bad guy if he wasn't so hell bent on revenge. But, going up the river and taking the fall for a friend will do that to you. Frankie returns to town after his 14 year stint in the big house looking for his share of the profits he missed when he went to prison during a botched bootlegging run. In the ensuing 14 years his partner, Dink, has became a high class nightclub owner and a very wealthy man. Unwilling to share anything with Frankie, Dink tries to take him out. In the end it is Dink who is taken out by Frankie. We know that Frankie isn't really a killer under normal circumstances and he most likely will never kill again now that Dink is gone so we can consider him redeemed. 

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