Time: 91 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
SYNOPSIS: When Mrs. Tremayne is mysteriously poisoned with gas, ambulance driver Frank Jessup meets her refined but sensuous stepdaughter Diane, who quickly pursues and infatuates him. Under Diane's seductive influence, Frank is soon the Tremayne chauffeur; but he begins to suspect danger under her surface sweetness. When he shows signs of pulling away, Diane schemes to get him in so deep he'll never get out.
BOTTOM LINE: Simmons is a bad, bad girl and it's her perfectly controlled, yet intrinsically crazy performance that keeps this melodrama intriguing. What's makes this film so fun for the viewer is that there's never any doubt how psycho Diane is, yet you're drawn into her lies just like her friends and family, most of whom are not going to make it out of this picture alive. Even Mitchum, who plays a regular guy with a pretty good nose for trouble can't seem to disentangle himself from her charms. Sure, Diane appears to be a sweet and dutiful daughter, but if she doesn't get her way, you better literally watch your back. Simmons walks a fine line in her portrayal of Diane, enabling you to actually feel sorry for her despite her sinister ways. Mitchum is equally disreputable as her patsy/love interest, a man who leaves the arms of a good woman to take up with one that better suits his ambitions. It's their undeniable chemistry that raises the quality of this piece.
He's somewhat more sympathetic, since he didn't ask for Diane's attentions, but he doesn't exactly refuse them either. Granted, there's no way he could've have predicted the outcome of their supposedly random acquaintance. Though the ending is no surprise after all she said over and over again she wouldn't let him go its power is somewhat dimmed by the fact that he really should have known better than to trust her. He almost got the death penalty for murders he KNOWS she committed, and yet he comes back to get his things? Are you kidding me? As shocking as the final images of them are when she ensures that he'll never leave her their final moments are more laughable than horrifying. It's hard to even feel sorry for him after watching him be so wretchedly stupid. The lesson learned here: when someone says they have nothing to live for but you, run don't walk to the nearest exit.