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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker and more perverse than you can possibly imagine!, 7 Nov 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Born to Kill [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
The oft-wasted (in both senses of the word) Lawrence Tierney is seen to much better effect than usual in Born to Kill, truly one of the most perverse noir romances of all time. The two leads aren't ill-starred lovers or victims of fate, they're born bad and they know it - indeed, nothing gets them hotter than talking about dead bodies. There is a rather worrying subtext that this is down to their lower-class birth, but you get the impression even if they had been born in high society that these two would have shown up the Borgias for the amateurs they were. At times it's hard to tell who is the more ruthless, Tierney's calculating but none-too-bright bull-headed murderous thug or Claire Trevor's magpie in the nest, who may not actually kill but probably does far worse - as Esther Howard says, she carries her own curse inside of her. There's great support from Elisha Cook ("I'm a baaad boy!") and, especially, Walter Slezak, superb as the wistfully philosophical private detective on their trail, open to the best offer going from either side but still not the stereotyped corrupt P.I. you expect from the genre, and refreshingly he isn't given the fate you expect either thanks to a constantly unexpected script by Eve Greene and Richard Macaulay. The tarnished, slightly grubby conscience of a film noir like no other, he's the closest thing Robert Wise's superb movie has to a hero.

Warners Region 1 NTSC DVD boasts a fine transfer and an excellent audio commentary by Eddie Muller that includes some outrageous Tierney stories for good measure, though that's absent from Odeon's less impressive UK DVD. The NTSC version is highly recommended, and how!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turnip Man and Iceberg Woman., 14 Oct 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Born to Kill [DVD] (DVD)
Lady of Deceit (AKA: Born to Kill) is directed by Robert Wise and adapted to screenplay by Eve Greene and Richard Macaulay from the novel Deadlier than the Male written by James Gunn. It stars Claire Trevor, Lawrence Tierney, Walter Slezak, Elisha Cook Jr., Audrey Long, Isabel Jewell and Esther Howard. Music is by Paul Sawtell and cinematography by Robert De Grasse.

Trevor plays conniving divorcée Helen Brent, who risks her chances at the wealth and security she craves with the man she doesn't love by falling for hotheaded murderer Sam Wild (Tierney), who, with his own agenda, is soon to marry her foster sister.

I wouldn't trade places with you if they sliced me into little pieces.

Hard-bitten noir of some substance that pits two of noir's most unlikable characters against each other. Tierney's psychotic machismo and Trevor's calculating sex-bomb go head to head in a deliriously distorted romance that will only go one way once their inner pursuit of glory comes to the fore.

And he who falls beneath her spell has need of God's mercy.

The plot is a bit hard to take, but when in noirville it sometimes helps to stop off for a bite to eat at the fantastique café. It's a grim tale of pathological persons and it's superbly directed by Wise in what was his first foray into straight edged film noir. Slezak adds some seedy quality as a bible quoting P.I., Cook Junior does what he does best and Jewell inputs the naive sexy glamour.

Voluptuous violence and mad love in the shadows. Hooray! 8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sometimes brutal, unique noir, 28 Aug 2013
By 
Bonnie Shawcross "Bee Bee Queen" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Born to Kill [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoyed this film a lot, though perhaps it was a little slow at times. Claire Trevor is wonderful as the icy money-obsessed heiress who falls for Lawrence Tierney's cold blooded killer despite suspecting his crimes. Lots of great support especially from genre favourite Elisha Cook Jr. make this film worth seeing
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent film that deserves to be better known, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Born to Kill [DVD] (DVD)
Claire Trevor is gloriously ruthless as the spoilt socialite with a nice sister and Lawrence Tierney is suitably sociopathic as her partner in crime. Their performances, with that of Esther Howard as a slovenly drunk, lift the film above the average for a noir-ish melo where the wrong side of the tracks meets glossy high society. Sit back and enjoy!
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Born to Kill [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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