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Born to Be Bad [DVD] [1950]

Joan Fontaine , Robert Ryan , Nicholas Ray    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Born to Be Bad [DVD] [1950] + Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) DVD
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Product details

  • Actors: Joan Fontaine, Robert Ryan, Joan Leslie
  • Directors: Nicholas Ray
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 9 May 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,017 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

When Christabel (Joan Fontaine) comes to live with her cousin Donna Foster (Joan Leslie) she fools everyone with her sugary exterior. But soon the calculating, rapacious Christabel begins to sow seeds of discontent between Donna and her wealthy fiancé Curtis (Zachary Scott) by convincing Curtis that his fiancé is a gold-digger. When their engagement is broken and Donna leaves for London, Christabel tricks Curtis into marrying her. But it is only his money that Christabel is passionate about because she is in love with Nick (Robert Ryan), a rugged writer who loves her in return, but hates her for what she had done and who she is.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and riveting movie! 29 Aug 2008
Format:VHS Tape
Joan Fontaine stars in this 1950 classic playing the part she plays so well - ruthless and conniving!

Donna Foster (Joan Leslie) is about to get married to the handsome and wealthy Curtis Carey (Zachary Scott), but all goes pear-shaped when Christabel (Fontaine) arrives on the scene! She's out to get what she wants and when she wants it - and indeed she gets it - no matter who she hurts! Torn between the man she really loves (Robert Ryan) and the lifestyle she craves - she chooses the latter with consequences.

Absorbing and riveting movie from start to finish. My only gripe are the two love attractions for Fontaine; the man she loves and wants has nothing and is quite 'plain' (Robert Ryan) whilst the guy she prefers to 'use' is so handsome and rich (Zachary Scott) A bit hard to be convincing... I think the actors should have switched roles for this to make it more credible.

Fabulous movie though!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By The CinemaScope Cat TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Set in San Francisco, a scheming young woman (Joan Fontaine) gives the appearance of an angel while plotting to break up the impending nuptials of her room mate (Joan Leslie) to a wealthy man (Zachary Scott) in order to get the millionaire for herself. A couple of months before ALL ABOUT EVE made its debut, Fontaine's Christabel Caine gives the notorious schemer Eve Harrington a run for her money. It lacks the stylish wit and dialogue of EVE though Robert Ryan as a rugged novelist does have one great line, he tells Fontaine "I love you so much that I wish I liked you". But it's not very inventive. It's just a matter of watching Fontaine ruin lives until she gets her comeuppance but its tawdry fun watching Fontaine, normally the fragile heroine of films like REBECCA and LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, taking a stab as a femme fatale. Directed without much enthusiasm by Nicholas Ray from the novel ALL KNEELING by Anne Parrish. With Mel Ferrer and Kathleen Howard.

The Odeon Entertainment DVD is a nice B&W transfer in its original 1.33 aspect ratio.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good AND Bad, but NOT the original ending 23 Aug 2011
By Art
Joan Fontaine herself is critical of this strange 1950s film where miscast actors, utter 'one-liners' that are good AND bad.

It was meant to be be 'cool' ~ the artistic/rich side of San Francisco, but apart from a few establishing shots its all done 'on the lot' or anywhere in California.

Fontaine repeats her (predictable) facial expressions endlessly (the dance with Olivier in 'Rebecca') and the actual plot stretches the bounds of possibility too far; but then again it was meant to be 'cinematic froth'.

Howard Hughes (the force behind it) meddled with the end, so this DVD copy resolves with a cheap visual joke, rather than the original end (spoiler alert) of a car crash and Fontaine using her 'charm' to entrance her doctor to get another rich man, having been found out by the one she already betrayed.

It's all sugary melodrama, and Fontaine never had the acting skills of Crawford or Davis (or her sister De Havilland) BUT I recommend it anyway!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Joan Fontaine playing a Baddie! 28 April 2014
By JillEG
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was so sorry to hear that Joan had died. I have always liked her since seeing her in Rebecca. This is a good atmospheric film. It is strange to see her playing a baddie!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Femme fatale 24 April 2012
By Ténès
Joan Fontaine plays her part to perfection as the scheming woman, out to win the fiancée of the millionaire (she is the fiancée's house-guest !) within the limited few days at her disposal. It is wonderful, though annoyingly so, to see how she goes about her business, especially to observe the naiveté of the man concerned ! Aren't men suckers !
Thoroughly entertaining though the film was, I found the end just a bit unconvincing : a woman as bad as this could not be dismissed as easily !
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