Review: ‘My Forbidden Past’

This costume drama hasn't much in the way of strong entertainment. It's a period piece, laid in early New Orleans, that makes much to-do about bloodlines and first family snobbery, with a few s.a. tidbits thrown in for exploitation.

This costume drama hasn’t much in the way of strong entertainment. It’s a period piece, laid in early New Orleans, that makes much to-do about bloodlines and first family snobbery, with a few s.a. tidbits thrown in for exploitation.

Ava Gardner physically lives up to title implications, but her role is obvious and never socks enough to be believable. Robert Mitchum, as a young medical professor whom she wants, is required only to deliver a wooden performance, but his personality does give it some lift.

A romance between Barbara (Gardner) and Mark (Mitchum) is broken up by the former’s cousin, Paul (Melvyn Douglas). Mitchum, on the rebound, marries Corrine (Janis Carter).

The script, based on Leopold Atlas’ adaptation of Polan Banks’ novel Carriage, has Barbara suddenly become the heir to a fortune left by the bad ancestor. She uses her money to bribe Paul to break up Mark’s marriage.

Douglas’ character has a Desperate Desmond quality, so overstated as to be ludicrous. Carter does what is demanded of her character, and Lucile Watson is Gardner’s stuffy aunt who rules the family with an iron hand. On the technical side, the picture has been well-dressed.

My Forbidden Past

Production

RKO. Director Robert Stevenson; Producer Polan Banks; Screenplay Marion Parsonnet; Camera Harry J. Wild; Editor George C. Shrader; Music Frederick Hollander; Art Director Albert S. D'Agostino, Al Herman

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 71 MIN.

With

Robert Mitchum Ava Gardner Melvyn Douglas Lucile Watson Janis Carter Gordon Oliver

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading