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JOHN DEREK PIMPING BRITISH FILM NOIR 'THE FLESH IS WEAK'

Title: THE FLESH IS WEAK Year: 1957 Rating: **1/2

Before he became a horrible director with gorgeous blonde wives, John Derek made for a fairly passable actor, and it's unfortunate that this late British Noir didn't stick with the country of origin for a shadier lead since there were plenty of great performers who wouldn't seem like they're performing like Derek often does here...

And this American plays a part Italian hood named Tony Giani, taking a heartlessly professional interest in an extremely vulnerable and victimized Milly Vitale despite initially and misleadingly treating her like a prom date dream-girl...

John Derek and Shirley Ann Field in THE FLESH IS WEAK

She was discovered by surreptitious recruiter Vera Day and brought to a nightclub, co-run by Tony's brother Angelo, played by the always villainous English character-actor Martin Benson, both shrouded in this dark-lit nightlife locale where the girls first work indoors before hitting the night-shaded street just outside... 

Or the opposite in the particularly suspenseful case of alley-dwelling Shirley Ann Field, providing a wonderfully gritty scene of Derek's abrasive seduction where his best acting occurs...

John Derek and Milly Vitale in THE FLESH IS WEAK

But FLESH is about how and if ONE girl... Vitale's Marissa Cooper... can avoid getting too used to being part of the oldest profession after literally being "kept" in Derek's elegant room (nursed in reverse by experienced old-timer Freda Jackson) till she can possibly become hardened, cold, ready...

And yet there lacks the kind of genuine danger a noir dame must weather to really work for an audience to root for. Perhaps Shirley Ann Field needed following into that much darker, harsher night. 

John Derek and Shirley Ann Field in THE FLESH IS WEAK
John Derek in THE FLESH IS WEAK
John Derek and Shirley Ann Field in THE FLESH IS WEAK
John Derek and Milly Vitale in THE FLESH IS WEAK
John Derek and Milly Vitale in THE FLESH IS WEAK
Milly Vitale and her first john in THE FLESH IS WEAK
Brothers in crime Martin Benson and John Derek in THE FLESH IS WEAK
Milly Vitale and a john's date in THE FLESH IS WEAK
British cult starlet Vera Day farms Milly Vitale in THE FLESH IS WEAK
Terrific font opening credits for THE FLESH IS WEAK

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