This late fifties whodunit has some interesting credits. It was directed by the able and eclectic Howard Koch, and features three quite different actresses in major roles,--Mamie Van Doren, Anne Bancroft and Marie Windsor. Suave character man John Dehner is cast as the local lawman; ex-Tarzan Lex Barker is the male lead; Stuart Whitman and Dan Blocker have small roles; and Barker wrote the music score. This is the only movie I have ever seen that features a murder suspect who is a bitter, woman-hating man, psychosomatically paralyzed from the neck down, who can't even pour his own drinks or light his own cigarettes. Ron Randell plays him marvelously, and had the film been directed by Ingmar Bergman would surely have won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. I wouldn't quite call this movie trashy, but it has a trashy feel to it, as it comes across in some ways as a sort of Southwest version of Peyton Place crossed maybe with Anatomy Of a Murder, the small-town black and white mood of which it strangely anticipates. Everyone in this movie has a secret. The question is, whose secret is murder? The pacing isn't strong here, and the dialog is variable. William Margulies' photography is excellent, however; and the settings,--the motel resort and small desert town--are perfectly realized. There is a nice feeling for people whose lives have fallen just short of the big time, and who are angry about it. As a result, more than in most movies, everyone seems more than capable of being a killer. I especially like the sense of isolation in the film, and with it the edge of danger. As with so many crime pictures of its era, it seems to be trying to say something about American life, and how materialism and ambition are destroying it. With its acerbic invalid in one corner, and its muslceman in the other, and all the beautiful women gallivanting about and making life miserable for everyone, this one, with sharper writing and a sense of the absurd, might really have risen and become an Antonioni-like commentary on the American Dream. As it stands, it doesn't come close, though some of its characters and images linger in the mind long after its over.
The Girl in Black Stockings (1957) 720p YIFY Movie
The Girl in Black Stockings (1957)
The Girl in Black Stockings is a movie starring Lex Barker, Anne Bancroft, and Mamie Van Doren. A party girl is murdered, and everyone at a Utah motel is a suspect.
IMDB: 5.44 Likes
The Synopsis for The Girl in Black Stockings (1957) 720p
Near a small Utah town, visiting lawyer David Hewson finds the slashed body of party girl Marcia Morgan, his fellow tenant at Parry Lodge. Sheriff Jess Holmes considers everyone at the motel a suspect, even owner Edmund Parry, a woman hater who is quadriplegic...or is he? While Holmes investigates and the suspects try to hide mutual fears, the killer strikes again...
The Director and Players for The Girl in Black Stockings (1957) 720p
The Reviews for The Girl in Black Stockings (1957) 720p
One Of a KindReviewed bytelegonusVote: 9/10
"The Girl in the Black Stockings" is a B movie, and I don't give it the tremendous historical significance one of the other reviewers did. It's obviously made cheaply, and the story is awkward. Directed by Howard Koch, it has a surprising lack of pace. The stars are Lex Barker, Anne Bancroft, John Dehner, Ron Randell, Marie Windsor and Mamie Van Doren. The plot concerns murders at a resort - in fact, the film begins with the discovery of a dead body, and several more follow. Dehner plays the sheriff. The resort is owned by a man with hysterical paralysis (Randell) and his sister (Windsor), who takes care of him. There's a Barrymore-type actor preparing for a comeback with the help of a va-va-va-voom blonde (Van Doren), and several guests, including Barker and Bancroft, who apparently have some sort of history together.
The acting is okay with the exception of a very young Bancroft, who smartly underplays what could have been an extremely over the top character. Barker was very handsome and fit, but after reading that Lana Turner threw him out when she learned he was abusing her daughter Cheryl, it's hard to watch him. Most of the characters really aren't fleshed out enough to give the actors something to work with. Stuart Whitman has a small part, as does Dan Blocker, who plays a bartender.
It's astounding how many reviewers here have given this either high marks for being a well-made film noir(-ish) murder-mystery, or for it's high camp value. DO NOT BE FOOLED: this movie doesn't qualify on either the level of basic competence, or on the so-bad-it's-good scale. It's just plain bad, in every way imaginable.
But let's get something else out of the way first: for those who want to claim a 'Twin Peaks' connection for this film (which is the reason I was curious about it, initially), such an assertion is basically a bunch of garbage, grasping at less than even tenuous similarities and standard murder-mystery tropes. A girl is murdered. It occurs in a small town. There's an Indian/Native American. And a sawmill. THAT'S IT. David Lynch and Mark Frost did not rip this movie off - and I say that as someone who's not even much of a 'Twin Peaks' fan.
Okay, now that we've cleared that up, what about the film itself? You know it's gonna be bad from the very first lines of dialogue exchanged between Lex Barker and young Anne Bancroft. It's the kind of meaningless, pseudo-hip banter that has zero meaning and makes you want to slap the screenwriter, tell him, "Try writing some words that sound like they might come out of the mouth of an actual human being, you hack!"
But the main problem (one of MANY problems) is that no one seems to take the murder particularly seriously. Basically John Dehner just sort of wanders around, occasionally asking locals somewhat germane questions, but mostly just gossiping, catching up on their relationship woes, chitty-chat. This dumb-a** couldn't solve the mystery of who put the cookie in the cookie jar.
And then there's the guy who owns the motel, the psychologically paralyzed (say what..?) guy who basically sits around (well, he can't do much else, I guess) spouting off some of the most hate-filled, vile, misogynistic bile that you're likely to hear outside of a lockerroom. Now, initially, you think, 'Hunh. That's something of a twist: not romanticizing this character, or trying to make him this sympathetic type' - the way they almost always try to do with pretty much any disabled person in movies and on TV, even nowadays. But after about 30 seconds of this guy, you'll change your mind and start hoping that when Anne Bancroft and Marie Windsor take him in the pool for some hydrotherapy that they'll both get phone calls and leave him to make out on the bottom with the Creepy Crawly. (Okay, I know that they didn't have those back them, but you get the point.)
Who the hell would stay at this lodge? There's a common dining room, or restaurant, and every night the customers have to share it with this wheelchair-bound a-hole, watching him get drunk and rave about how much he despises the fairer sex. Yeah, THAT's what I want for dinner theater. How did this guy get into the lodging business, when all he does is bitch about how running this inn puts him into constant contact with the very species for which he is so overflowing with hatred? Like so much in this film (just wait until you hear Lex Barker's 'explanation' for the murderer's motives at the end of the film), it MAKES NO SENSE.
And not just that - IT'S BORING! Apparently director Howard Koch told all of his actors to pause for several seconds between each line of dialogue, to savor the 'richness' of drivel they're all spouting (I've never heard so many words used to express so little); or maybe the heat or the altitude made them all punchy. It's bad enough that we, the viewers, don't care what's being said, but when the actors all sound like they're on Quaaludes...Never has 74 minutes passed so slowly, so excruciatingly.
I will say that, as someone who loves the '50s as a design era, the Parry Lodge (and the adjoining boutique, the Pink Poodle) are pretty cool to look at; the fact that they shot this stinker on location is about the only thing this movie has going for it, although it also means that the Kanab Chamber of Commerce gets in a number of blatant promos for local businesses and sights. But apart from my interest in the era, this one is a complete and total loser.