Party Girl (1958)

98-99 mins | Drama | November 1958

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writer:

George Wells

Producer:

Joe Pasternak

Cinematographer:

Robert Bronner

Production Designers:

William A. Horning, Randall Duell

Production Company:

Euterpe Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

An Apr 1957 HR news item reported that Charles Schnee was set to produce Party Girl . Jul 1957 news items indicated that Robert Wise was to direct the film, but the production start date was postponed because Schnee was experiencing casting difficulties. Schnee noted that his plan to cast actors from the New York stage was stymied because of salary disputes. In Jan 1958 Joe Pasternak was announced as the film's new producer. An HR news item adds Sammy Shack to the cast, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed.
       Party Girl was the last film that Robert Taylor made at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Culver City lot. Taylor, who started with M-G-M in 1934, made one more film under his twenty-five year contract, the 1959 release The House of the Seven Hawks (see above), which was filmed at the M-G-M British studios. Tony Martin, who sang the title song over the opening credits, was Cyd Charisse's husband. Party Girl marked the final appearance of Charisse in an M-G-M production, after fourteen years with the studio. Although Party Girl received little attention when it was released, many modern critics have praised the film and Nicholas Ray's direction highly, calling it a film noir ... More Less

An Apr 1957 HR news item reported that Charles Schnee was set to produce Party Girl . Jul 1957 news items indicated that Robert Wise was to direct the film, but the production start date was postponed because Schnee was experiencing casting difficulties. Schnee noted that his plan to cast actors from the New York stage was stymied because of salary disputes. In Jan 1958 Joe Pasternak was announced as the film's new producer. An HR news item adds Sammy Shack to the cast, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed.
       Party Girl was the last film that Robert Taylor made at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Culver City lot. Taylor, who started with M-G-M in 1934, made one more film under his twenty-five year contract, the 1959 release The House of the Seven Hawks (see above), which was filmed at the M-G-M British studios. Tony Martin, who sang the title song over the opening credits, was Cyd Charisse's husband. Party Girl marked the final appearance of Charisse in an M-G-M production, after fourteen years with the studio. Although Party Girl received little attention when it was released, many modern critics have praised the film and Nicholas Ray's direction highly, calling it a film noir classic. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Oct 1958.
---
Daily Variety
20 Oct 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Oct 58
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Apr 1957
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 1957
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 1957
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jan 1958
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 1958
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 1958
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 1958
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 1958
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 58
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Oct 58
p. 28.
New York Times
29 Oct 58
p. 30.
Variety
22 Oct 58
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Patrick McVey
And as Party Girls
Rico's hoods
Cookie's henchmen
Show girls
Erich Von Stroheim Jr.
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's ward
Men's ward
Women's ward
Women's ward
SOUND
Mixer
Boom
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DANCE
Dance numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
Hairdresser
Makeup created by
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Best boy
Best boy
Casting dir
Asst casting dir
STAND INS
Singing voice double
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Party Girl," music by Nicholas Brodszky, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, sung by Tony Martin.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
November 1958
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 28 October 1958
Production Date:
late March--19 June 1958
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc. & Euterpe, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 October 1958
Copyright Number:
LP12394
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
98-99
Length(in feet):
8,852
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19047
SYNOPSIS

In the Chicago nightclub the Golden Rooster, owned by mobster Rico Angelo, the mobster’s henchman offers each show girl a hundred dollars to attend Rico’s party that evening. Dancer Vicki Gaye scoffs at the invitation, but when her roommate, Joy Hampton, admits that she is returning to their apartment to wait for a call from her married boyfriend, Vicki decides to go to Rico’s party. After receiving her hundred dollars, Vicki indifferently accompanies gangster Louis Canetto, who gives her four hundred dollars from his gambling winnings. Later in an effort to rid herself of Canetto, Vicki asks attorney Thomas Farrell to escort her home. Although Tommy uses a cane and has a pronounced limp, Vicki is startled when Canetto defers to him. During the drive home, Tommy cynically remarks about Vicki’s accepting Canetto’s money and reveals that he is defending Canetto against a murder charge. Back at her apartment, Vicki discovers that, despondent over her boyfriend's rejection, Joy has committed suicide. At the police station, Vicki is questioned when Joy’s autopsy reveals she was pregnant, but she refuses to name Joy’s boyfriend. Tommy then intervenes and takes the exhausted Vicki to his apartment to rest. The following day, Tommy asks Rico to increase Vicki’s salary and provide her a better spot in the show, but not to mention his name. Several days later, Vicki visits Tommy at his office to thank him for helping with Joy’s case, then asks him to return the money to Canetto. Tommy criticizes Vicki’s gesture as an attempt to buy back her pride. Later that week, Vicki attends Canetto’s ... +


In the Chicago nightclub the Golden Rooster, owned by mobster Rico Angelo, the mobster’s henchman offers each show girl a hundred dollars to attend Rico’s party that evening. Dancer Vicki Gaye scoffs at the invitation, but when her roommate, Joy Hampton, admits that she is returning to their apartment to wait for a call from her married boyfriend, Vicki decides to go to Rico’s party. After receiving her hundred dollars, Vicki indifferently accompanies gangster Louis Canetto, who gives her four hundred dollars from his gambling winnings. Later in an effort to rid herself of Canetto, Vicki asks attorney Thomas Farrell to escort her home. Although Tommy uses a cane and has a pronounced limp, Vicki is startled when Canetto defers to him. During the drive home, Tommy cynically remarks about Vicki’s accepting Canetto’s money and reveals that he is defending Canetto against a murder charge. Back at her apartment, Vicki discovers that, despondent over her boyfriend's rejection, Joy has committed suicide. At the police station, Vicki is questioned when Joy’s autopsy reveals she was pregnant, but she refuses to name Joy’s boyfriend. Tommy then intervenes and takes the exhausted Vicki to his apartment to rest. The following day, Tommy asks Rico to increase Vicki’s salary and provide her a better spot in the show, but not to mention his name. Several days later, Vicki visits Tommy at his office to thank him for helping with Joy’s case, then asks him to return the money to Canetto. Tommy criticizes Vicki’s gesture as an attempt to buy back her pride. Later that week, Vicki attends Canetto’s trial to watch Tommy’s closing argument. By playing up his limp, Tommy wins the sympathy of the jury and Canetto is acquitted. Vicki seeks Tommy out at a speakeasy afterward, to accuse him of hypocrisy and shameless manipulation for a price. Stung, Tommy nevertheless begins attending the Golden Rooster shows nightly, until Vicki at last agrees to see him. Tommy reveals that he suffered a childhood accident and the subsequent hip surgery healed improperly, leaving him bitter, yet hungry for respect, which he feels he has gained as the “mouthpiece” for Rico’s mob. Tommy then confesses that he is married to a former show girl whom he loved deeply, until she rejected him because of his handicap. Over the next several months Vicki and Tommy begin dating seriously, until Rico summons Tommy to attend a late night gathering where Rico nearly beats to death a rival gangster. After Tommy stops the beating, he worries about how his association with the gangster might affect Vicki. Tommy and Vicki then visit a doctor who advises Tommy that with numerous surgeries by a New York specialist and a year of therapy, his hip might heal. Vicki is determined to help Tommy through the ordeal, but he departs for New York alone. Months later, after Tommy is nearly recovered, he summons Vicki and they take a long European trip together to celebrate. Returning to Chicago at Rico’s request, Tommy is introduced by Rico to brash Cookie Lamot, who is under investigation by state attorney Jeffrey Stewart. Disgusted by Cookie’s reputation as a ruthless, cold-blooded killer, Tommy advises him to leave Chicago, but refuses to represent him. When Rico threatens to disfigure Vicki if Tommy does not comply, Tommy reluctantly agrees. Some weeks later, during jury selection for Cookie’s grand jury trial, Tommy is incensed when Lou Forbes, another of Rico’s attorneys, checks up on him. Later, however, Rico tells Tommy that Cookie has jumped bail and crossed the state line. Although Tommy tells Rico to handle the situation himself, he follows Cookie to Indiana. At a small café, Cookie tells Tommy that he is tired of the lengthy delay caused by legal maneuverings and plans to kill Stewart. Moments later, Cookie and his henchmen are machine gunned down. In Chicago, Vicki anxiously hears a report about Cookie’s murder over the radio and the subsequent mob killings all over Chicago as Rico’s men do away with rest of Cookie’s gang. When Tommy returns unharmed, Stewart announces that he will seek an indictment against anyone connected with Rico and, soon after, Tommy and Vicki are arrested. To insure Tommy’s silence, Rico has Vicki bailed out and taken to the Golden Rooster. Stewart attempts to bully Tommy into informing on Rico, but Tommy refuses, even after Stewart arranges for him to visit Vicki. After Tommy tells her that his wife has offered to divorce him, Vicki vows to wait for him. On New Year’s Eve at the Golden Rooster, Canetto visits Vicki backstage and offers to protect her from Rico. Realizing that Rico is using her against Tommy, Vicki contacts Stewart and asks to see Tommy alone. During a meeting in a private apartment, Vicki pleads with Tommy to confess to Stewart and mentions Canetto’s visit. Although disturbed, Tommy still refuses to cooperate. Frustrated, Stewart then tells Tommy that he is being released, knowing that Rico will assume Tommy has struck a deal. Tommy demands protection for Vicki, then agrees to talk. Stewart has his men escort Vicki to a train to the west coast, but moments after they disembark, Vicki is kidnapped by Canetto. After Tommy gives a full description of Rico’s activities, he visits all his usual haunts, making himself conspicuous and is soon picked up by Rico’s men. Rico demands that Tommy recant his confession, then brings out Vicki and threatens to disfigure her with a jar of acid. Having alerted the police to his location, Tommy uses his courtroom skills to stall Rico. When the police arrive and begin shooting it out with Rico’s men, Canetto attempts to attack Vicki, but is killed by gunfire. Rico and Tommy fight, but when Rico attempts to hurl the acid at Vicki, the bottle breaks and, blinded by pain, Rico tumbles from the second story window to his death. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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