“You’re a beautiful dancer. Do you do other things as good as you dance?”
You can read what you like into that line but when it’s Dan Duryea saying it to Jane Russell it becomes as sexually provocative as movies could get in the decade of the 1950’s.
From the moment the film opens with Jane blowing a tire and being picked up by Jeff Chandler and Dan Duryea on the side of the road this film is all about s-e-x. No sooner do they pick her up you can see Dan giving her a real close look over while she of course is measuring up Chandler for a going over. By the time we reach the 12 minute mark she’s all over him and vice versa. A day later, their married. Wow! That’s fast work. Then of course the problems set in with Jeff being a miner and half Apache with one giant sized chip on his shoulder as he seems mad at the world. Duryea of course would like nothing better than to have Russell turn her back on the big baby and find comfort in his hungry arms.
This film was just too silly to be taken seriously but that makes it good for a laugh and anything with Duryea in the cast is worth the time. I have never found Chandler to have much range as he always seems fairly one dimensional yet at the same time he’s totally watchable in anything he is in. A credit to him for sure. No different here and it’s hard to keep your eyes off him unless of course your like me and your eyes stray to Jane modeling one of those “cross your heart” bras that she made a household name out of.
Other interesting bits are that Chandler is credited with writing the theme song and in keeping with the sexual nature of the film it’s a hoot to see Dabbs Greer try to pick up Jane Russell. He’s way out of his league on this one. Beautiful Mara Corday who plays Duryea’s nurse was busy throughout the decade but today is probably best know as the waitress who pours Clint Eastwood way too much sugar in his coffee in Sudden Impact leading Clint to his famed line, “Go ahead. Make my day.”
Journeyman director Joseph Pevney brings us this overly melodramatic 91 minutes which can be fun provided you catch it in the right frame of mind. When I say overly melodramatic, how about a mine explosion going off when the preacher says the line about forever hold you’re peace! No fooling, it really happens!!!
Thanks for the review of FOXFIRE (1955). It’s one of my favorite Jane Russell films. Normally, her characters require her to be a world-weary, hard-as-nails, been there, seen that kinda dame. Here, she subtly exudes a softer, sensitive, loving side, while at the same time, maintaining a liberated authority. She and Chandler have sexual chemistry to spare and of course, as usual, Dan Duryea turns in a fine performance… a little sleazy yet still sympathetic.
FOXFIRE is an overlooked little gem of the 1950s. Hopefully, one day it will find a DVD, or better yet, Blu-Ray release. The vividness of the technicolor is joy to behold.
Hi and thanks for checking in! Russell and Chandler sure do heat things up. Glad you mention Duryea as he’s one of those great secondary actors that sure makes good use of his time on screen. This one has plenty of underlying sex for the fifties decade that slips past the sensors.
Four years after your post, it’s been announced that Kino Lobber will release FOXFIRE on both DVD and Blu-ray! It doesn’t have an official release date yet, but the rumor is sometime in early December 2018!
That’s great news. I can finally upgrade from my TCM copy on VHS from ages ago. lol! Kino doing a great job on these obscure titles proving there is still a market and keeping us collectors happy.