Christabel fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna’s wealthy fiancée Curtis. The only one who sees through her facade is Nick, a rugged writer who loves her anyway. Christabel also loves Nick, but she loves Curtis’ money more. After convincing Curtis that Donna is only interested in him for his money, she tricks Curtis into marrying her. Of course, she still dallies with Nick on the side. —IMDb
Born in small-town Wisconsin in 1911, Nicholas Ray’s early experience with film came with some radio broadcasting in high school. He left the University of Chicago after a year, but made such an impression on his professor and writer Thorton Wilder that he was recommended for a scholarship with Frank Lloyd Wright, where he learned the importance of space and geography, not to mention his later love for CinemaScope. When political differences came between the seasoned architect and his young protégé, Ray left for New York and became immersed in the radical theater. He joined the Theater of Action and later the Group Theater, which is where he met his good friend Elia Kazan. Times were tough and money was tight, but Ray loved the bohemian lifestyle of the close-knit group and enjoyed one of the happiest times of his life. Anybody who met him always noted his intellect and amazing energy. During this period he, along with his fellow Theater Group members, was also active in Socialist/Communist… read more
Joan Fontaine as Christabel is a kind of cypher device, who merely reveals the latent discontents of wealthy but dysfunctional Americans in an age of material prosperity; the real value and interest in the film comes from Ferrer's waspish painter and the great Robert Ryan's macho writer. The value of her portrait doubles at the end of the film, but her character remains as enigmatic and remote as her painted image.
Agreed it does wrap up a lil 2 "smoothly" @ the end but I still enjoyed this film.yes some parts are over the top and come out of nowhere,but If u dig melodrama and you know its a nick ray film then u sould know what ur in 4.I thought there was some good performances in here and let's not 4get how fuckin bad ass and cool robert ryan is ;) Nicholas Ray is unfairly underrated and doesn't get talked about enough
Above: a publicity still of Joan Fontaine and Robert Ryan in Born to Be Bad (1950). Courtesy Photofest/Film Forum. Among the many things the
Born to Be Bad plays as part of a 15-film Nicholas Ray retrospective on July 27th. *** Born to Be Bad (1950) is the bitchier, far less-well