Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1961. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Richard Carr, John Cassavetes. Cinematography by Lionel Lindon. Produced by John Cassavetes. Music by David Raksin. Production Design by Tambi Larsen, Hal Pereira. Costume Design by Edith Head. Film Editing by Frank Bracht.
Early feature directed by John Cassavetes that shows his penchant for atmosphere and mood, even though the narrative leaves a lot to be desired. Bobby Darin is impressive as a musician whose mood swings make his fellow band mates suffer, though nobody takes the brunt of his bad attitude more than his girlfriend (Stella Stevens) who loves him despite the abuse. The film takes place in smoky nightclubs, seedy hotel rooms and late-night bars, and while it meanders a bit too much to be particularly entertaining, there’s a lot to be said for the roughly accurate dialogue and genuine performances. Stevens was never better than in her role here, displaying a wealth of pain and frustration in her eyes behind the Marilyn-glamour of her bright blond hair and fancy wardrobe.