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KNOCKOUT BARBARA PAYTON IN THE BOXING NOIR 'BAD BLONDE'

Year of Release: 1953
In the Hammer British Film Noir BAD BLONDE originally titled THE FLANAGAN BOY, a bulky and not altogether brilliant English boxer gets a shot when his trainer connects with a rich Italian promoter who can make it all happen: But there are a few catches... First, everyone has to live at a rural lakeside estate where the fighter, Charlie Sullivan (Tony Wright), will prepare for future moneymaking matches...

Second and most important, Charlie needs to get along with the rich man’s baby-faced, perpetually pursed-lipped wife Lorna, played by  goading, manipulating, voluptuous and built-for-action with sparks-flying starlet Barbara Payton. Basically, the first moment Charlie sets his smitten eyes on the sullen temptress, his edge is gone… As is his sanity, to his trainer's chagrin. Liken to, years later, when Burgess Meredith barks at Sylvester Stallone's dame-distracted Rocky Balboa: "Women weaken legs!" Nothing changes in the boxing game, it seems... 

One of the great all-tie Film Noir fonts
Nor do the stock ingredients of Film Noir as, inspired by the American-made POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, there's a naive, ugly, fat little rich guy... herein the lusty, drunken, jovial promoter... naive enough allow his wife to hang around a young and muscular, good looking stud: Leading to temptation for temptation's sake...

But what helps BAD BLONDE work beyond the cliches are the boxing scenes, filmed like you’re watching each bout from the first row: in every corner. Meanwhile, the eventual murder attempt of Lorna’s husband is wickedly intense, with some terrific and inspired perspective angles. But overall, too much time wallows in soap operatic dialogue between the boxer and the title character, whose villainy was better when she had a few more rungs to climb.
Tony Wright, Barbara Payton and Frederick Valk 
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE with Tony Wright
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE
Tony Wright in Bad Blonde
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE with Tony Wright
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE
Barbara Payton in BAD BLONDE
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