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Thursday, January 15, 2015

THE GIRL IN BLACK STOCKINGS (1957)

Hard to spot a girl in black stockings or much of a murder mystery in this woebegone Grade-Z production. Just an unusual location at a Utah resort and the waste of its reasonably tasty cast (friendly Lex Barker; cult-baddie Marie Windsor; unstoppable John Dehner; and B’way & stardom-bound Anne Bancroft). But should you happen upon a copy, have a looksie at the clean graphics of its opening credits (very Otto Preminger/Saul Bass) and hang around to watch some young weekenders as they mill about for a better look at the first murder victim. Someone must have put out a call to a lot of wannabee actors in L.A.: Hie thee off to Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah for a day’s work as extras . . . and bring your own wardrobe. And so, for the briefest of moments, you can see what these young hopefuls really looked like, how they made up and held themselves without much in the way of studio interference. Just a bunch of twentysomething would-be actors wearing their best informal party clothes and hoping to be noticed. Hollywood cultural anthropologists & ‘50s ‘costumologists,’ take note.

DOUBLE-BILL: More double-down than double-bill, but from the era of buxom-blondes compare & contrast this film’s Mamie Van Doren with England’s Diana Dors in the preferable MANBAIT/’52.

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