Forever Female (1953)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Showbiz Comedy  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although it owes a bit to All About Eve, Forever Female is definitely much more lighthearted in its approach to the problems confronting an actress who simply will not play parts that are age-appropriate. Although there are plenty of wisecracks and snappy rejoinders liberally peppered throughout the Epstein Brothers script, there's little of the sharpness and cynicism of Eve -- which is ultimately good, as it lets Female be judged on its own enjoyable if lightweight merits, rather than as an Eve imitator. The Epstein screenplay is tightly constructed, and there's not a lot of fat to the film's 93 minutes. Irving Rapper's direction is perhaps overly-broad in places, but it's not out of keeping with the general tone of the piece. Ginger Rogers overdoes the glamorous star routine a bit -- a shade more subtlety in places would have brought more humor -- but for the most part, her diva is good fun. The always expert Paul Douglas is winningly gruff, and William Holden is solid, if a little on the bland side. The best performance, however, is pert Patricia Crowley, who manages to leaven her ambitious, nerves-of-steel ingénue with some genuine softness, without compromise. Forever Female is polished, professional fun.