The Saxon Charm (1948)

Genres - Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 28, 1948 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

A backstage melodrama that promises more than it delivers, The Saxon Charm is not without charm of its own -- but not enough to overcome some deficiencies in its screenplay and direction that keep it from being more than middling. Saxon's chief asset is its title character, played with menace, style, flair, and an odd sort of charm by Robert Montgomery. The actor turns in a commanding, but not overpowering, performance, well modulated and attuned to how far to go before pulling in the reins. As his nemesis, Susan Hayward is a bit off-key; she's not bad, by any means, and she certainly has the presence that is necessary to balance Montgomery, but she never seems totally at home in the character's shoes. John Payne is bland, but Audrey Totter does very well with the difficult role of the girlfriend. Claude Binyon's screenplay maintains a decent level of wit and has a number of zingers that really hit home, but it's overly talky and bogs down several times. As a result, it often seems as if it's just killing time in between the big moments. Montgomery, though, makes the rough patches worth it.