Day 13: A Movie That You Used to Love But Now You Hate

This prompt is easier in reverse for me and noir, as I didn’t like Scarlet Street, Kiss Me Deadly, or Night of the Hunter much upon first viewing, but I’ve come to love them both. And I don’t really “hate” any noir films — or if I do, I never loved them. I feel Double Indemnity is overrated (and wrote about that in hyperbolic terms here), but again, I don’t “hate” the film, and I never truly loved it. There’s a danger, too, in identifying films I dislike, as sometimes they’re ripe for camp pleasure, so I love them ironically.

The closest I come to this kind of prompt tends to be in films I loved when young and naive, and now see with a mature and perhaps feminist or anti-racist eye that makes them cringeworthy. As a teen rebel, I loved A Clockwork Orange (1971), for instance. Now, I love some of its anti-authoritarianism, but it’s misogyny is hard to take. The novel is better, fwiw. (In past, I wrote about this in terms of the film aging poorly [nsfw post].)

Still, I have to pick something for this prompt. So, I’m putting my two cents down for Joan Crawford and Jeff Chandler in

FEMALE ON THE BEACH (1955)

female

When I first saw this movie, but it was back before VCRs or cable. I believe it was showing on some afternoon movie rerun program. I remember finding Jeff Chandler very sexy, and the film sordid in a way that gave me guilty fodder for my tween sexual twinges.

When I saw it again recently, I couldn’t believe I’d found it erotic. Joan Crawford is in high diva mode, and Chandler glows with the limits of his talent. I cringed and laughed some, too — both at the film and my young self. Needless to say, you can never go back … nor do I want to.

 

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