Beautiful But Dangerous (1954)
As a young child Corby Lane (Jean Simmons) was travelling through the small town of Progress with her father when the town's folk came to her rescue to pay for life saving surgery. Now many years later and having made some money Corby decides to return to Progress to pay them back for their kindness by anonymously gifting them money. It brings her in to contact with young Dr. Robert Sellers (Robert Mitchum) who enjoys fishing and beautiful women and who despite not getting off to the best of starts grows to like Corby. Unfortunately Corby's plans backfire as her acts of anonymous kindness leads to the media swarming into Progress followed by travellers and scroungers looking to get in on the action.
It's quite amusing as just the other day there was an item on the news about an anonymous gift giver who was using social media to give clues as to where they had hid envelopes of money and this small story was covered by so many news channels. And then I find myself watching "Beautiful But Dangerous", also known as "She Couldn't Say No", which despite being 60 years old broaches a similar subject of media sweeping on the fictitious town of Progress over an anonymous gift giver. The difference is that "Beautiful But Dangerous" uses the idea as the basis for a typical romantic comedy between a city girl and a small town doctor.
As such there is a lot on offer in "Beautiful But Dangerous" which is stereotypical of this sort of movie. We have Mitchum turning on the charm as a laid back doctor who prefers to be fishing than working whilst we also have a whole bucket load of typically quirky locals such as Arthur Hunnicutt as the town drunk Odie Chalmers. On top of this we also get some culture clash comedy as Corby is not use to small town life and so is unaware that the boarding house doesn't have a bell boy so hooting her horn won't help matters. As such for the main the romantic comedy on offer in "Beautiful But Dangerous" is exactly the sort of thing you will have seen before.
Of course there is the other side to "Beautiful But Dangerous" which is the outcome of Corby's secret generosity backfiring when Progress is swarmed upon by the media, travellers and money grabbers. But there is no real depth to this but used to provide some typical conflict and even more typical comedy. In truth it is no surprise there is little depth to this as first and fore mostly "Beautiful But Dangerous" is a romantic comedy rather than an examination of media influence.
Now I've mentioned stereotypical a few times already and I will mention it again when it comes to Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons as they deliver nothing which they hadn't done before. As such Mitchum is tall, dark and handsome and loveable for being a charmer whilst Simmons has a loveable elfin quality about her.
What this all boils down to is that "Beautiful But Dangerous" is just an enjoyable romantic comedy from the 1950s which serves up jokes, characters, romance, conflict and just about anything else which you would have seen in a dozen other romantic comedies of the time. It isn't bad and both Mitchum and Simmons are likeable but it is for the most ordinary.
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