His Kind of Woman (1951)

Genres - Crime, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Film Noir  |   Release Date - Aug 15, 1951 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Review by Craig Butler

His Kind of Woman is some kind of movie -- although it's hard to say exactly what kind it is. Technically, it's a film noir crossed with a comedy of a somewhat satirical sort, but that doesn't begin to describe Woman. It's a fascinating, undeniably entertaining picture, in spite of the fact that its various pieces don't really go together and that some of it is not very good. Published reports and legend indicate that the film's split personality is due to producer Howard Hughes' interfering hand, which is probably accurate. Without Hughes, Woman would probably have been a straight ahead noir and arguably a better film for that -- but it wouldn't be the very unusual piece of filmmaking that it is. The "tough" parts of Woman are tough indeed; the plot doesn't always make sense, but director John Farrow (with an uncredited assist from Richard Fleischer) gives the serious proceedings suspense and drive. The comedy is wild and wacky, lead by Vincent Price in what is surely one of the screen's most outrageous and over the top performances; it's nothing short of a marvel. It also makes for a bizarre final third of the film, as Price's increasingly wild comic take is constantly contrasted with a sadistic torture sequence involving Robert Mitchum. Mitchum, by the way, is perfectly cast here, using his laconic, interior style to very good effect. Even Jane Russell, attired in outfits that emphasize her cleavage at every opportunity, turns in a more than decent performance. Woman is weird but wonderful.