A Proud old man falls for a hot floozie - and
surprise ... he's in for a Big fall
"You poor sucker, how can anyone love you, a fat
baldneck, a squiddy eye, you're old, you're ugly. Even the
touch of you made me sick, i hated you" - Erich von Stroheim's
Old Guy suffers the shame in The Sucker Blues
when he falls for his much, much younger female assistant played by
Mary Beth Hughes.
I shall be honest with you and admit that i had never heard of either
this film or about Mary Beth Hughes, but
luckily Youtube was there and had it in streaming video of high quality.
It's not a Great film noir, as the future genre master Anthony Mann
yet hadn't found his form here, but it's Good
and it has the always great Dan Duryea in it besides the luscious Mary
Beth and the stoic kraut.
The film starts in Mexico City 1936 at a vaudeville
theatre where a women has been murdered. She has been
shot and the killer is hiding back-stage before falling to his death,
and as he's laying dying on the stage he tells
us the story in a unavoidable Flashback. It was a dark
and stormy night ... as Snoopy always starts his great
novel ... no, no, it all started in Pittsburgh.
Erich von Stroheim is the Great Flamarion, a marksman pistol shooter
performing his sharpshooting act before
audiences in a touring vaudeville show. He has 2 assistants in his act,
the slimy drunk Al (Dan Duryea) and his wife
Connie (Mary Beth Hughes) and these two constantly bicker and hates
Now, the perfectionist and lone wolf Flamarion, who
hasn't have had a woman for 15 years, is approached by
his beautiful if somehow slutty assistant Connie. She tells him about
her brutal husband and easily seduces the old
fool. He falls for her bait, hook and sinker. When she explains for
him the possibility of one of his acts going
slightly wrong, as in his assistant Al geting shot by accident, he sees
the possibilities of Connie being a widow.
The Great Old Flamarion sees a rosy future with some delightful sex
with his young lover or maybe even wife,
but Connie has got other plans. There is no likeable role in this film,
not Flamarion, not Conny and not poor Al.
I saw also this Noir on Youtube in glorious black and
white and in fullscreen ratio and in great picture quality.
Cleo, the old vaudeville lady played by Esther Howard can be also be
seen as the Burger Joint lady serving
Tom Neal in the Film Noir masterpiece Detour