The French Line (1954)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Release Date - Feb 8, 1954 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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A film clearly designed to exploit both the 3-D fad and its star's main assets, The French Line is loud, garish, and trashy -- but not so much so as to be more than intermittently fun and amusing. As with many film musicals, the plot is nothing more than a clothesline on which to pin musical numbers, hopefully comic situations, and a variety of outfits for the leading lady. Sometimes this results in some fair-to-middling entertainment, but not here. The dialogue is subpar, straining so hard to be funny that it ends up being exhausting. The score is imminently forgettable, saddled with lyrics that, with one or two exceptions, are adequate at best. The film is better served by its costumes, which are never less than effective -- especially in the notorious "Lookin' for Trouble," with star Jane Russell bumping-and-grinding while wearing gloves, high heels, and a memorably sparse bikini. Under the circumstances, Russell acquits herself very well. An adequate performer, she has a certain amount of faux-sex appeal and personality, but does not have enough talent to overcome material of this sort. Sharp-eyed observers can spot future star Kim Novak as one of the models.