Party Girl (1958)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Robert Taylor stars in director Nicholas Ray's Party Girl as the traditional Ray anti-hero: a criminal lawyer who's a little bit of both. Fronting for Chicago gang boss Lee J. Cobb during the late 1920s, Taylor manages to get Cobb-underling John Ireland off on a murder rap. Cobb throws a party to celebrate the event at his penthouse, where showgirl Cyd Charisse performs a sexy dance. Ireland has the hots for Charisse, but she's more interested in Taylor. Thanks to her good influence, Taylor decides to quit the rackets. But after agreeing to take one more case for Cobb, Taylor is wounded in a shoot-out and hauled before prosecutor Kent Smith. Smith orders Taylor to testify against Cobb; the lawyer agrees to do so provided that Charisse is given police protection. Unfortunately, Cobb gets to Charisse first and threatens to throw acid in her lovely face while Taylor watches helplessly.
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Warner Bros.

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Robert Taylor
as Thomas 'Tommy' Farrell
Cyd Charisse
as Vicki Gaye
Lee J. Cobb
as Rico Angelo
John Ireland
as Louis 'Lucky Louie' Canetto
Kent Smith
as Jeffery Stewart
Claire Kelly
as Genevieve
Corey Allen
as Cookie
Lewis Charles
as Danny Rimett
David Opatoshu
as Lou Forbes
Kem Dibbs
as Joey Vulner
Patrick McVey
as O'Malley
Pat McVey
as O'Malley
Barbara Lang
as Tall Blonde Party Girl
Myrna Hansen
as Joy Hampton
Betty Utey
as Showgirl
Floyd Simmons
as Assistant Prosecutor
Sydney Smith
as Judge Bookwell
Rusty Lane
as Judge John A. Dasen
Irving Greenberg
as Rico's Hood
Richard Devine
as Rico's Hood
Georges Saurel
as Rico's Hood
Carl Thayler
as Cookie's Henchman
Michael Pierce
as Cookie's Henchman
John Franco
as Cookie's Henchman
Ken Perry
as Cookie's Henchman
Barrie Chase
as Showgirl
Sanita Pelkey
as Showgirl
Sandy Warner
as Showgirl
Harry McKenna
as Politician
Erich Von Stroheim Jr.
as Police Lieutenant
Carmen Phillips
as Rico's Secretary
Pat Cawley
as Farrell's Secretary
Marshall Bradford
as District Attorney
Tom Hernandez
as Sketch Artist
Andrew Buck
as Chauffeur
Aaron Saxon
as Frankie Gasto
Vaughan Taylor
as Dr. Caderman
Peter Bourne
as Cab Driver
Vito Scotti
as Hotel Clerk
Ralph Smiley
as Hotel Proprietor
Herbert C. Lytton
as Judge Alfino
Benny Rubin
as Mr. Field
David García
as Newsman
Paul Keast
as Judge Davers
John Damler
as Detective
Geraldine Wall
as Day Matron
Marc Wilder
as Speciality Dancer
David Garcie
as Newsman
Harry Hines
as Newsboy
Jack Gargan
as Officer
Margaret Bert
as Wardrobe Woman
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Critic Reviews for Party Girl

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

Taylor and Charisse have never been better, and rarely has Ray's theme of two flawed individuals trying to strike a symmetrical balance achieved a more beautiful and convulsive expression.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Unfortunately, the picture's plot (good girl helps bad guy go straight) fits the mood like a concrete overshoe, and the more than generous serving of cheesecake is pretty soggy stuff.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

As in all Ray's films, ideas and emotions are transformed into stunning visuals.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There is little that is novel or exciting about this Party Girl, despite her trappings or the occasional gunplay that surrounds her.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The CinemaScope and Metrocolor production gives the film a regal feeling that is at odds with the edgy, dangerous setting.

June 28, 2009
Film Threat

MGM exploitation flick starring Robert Taylor and Cyd Charisse near close of their careers.

March 8, 2008

Audience Reviews for Party Girl

Expensive merchandise. Lawyer Thomas Farrell has lived a very interesting and rich life as a lawyer for criminals. He is now separated, divorced in a way, and drinks alone and watches shows. One day he is introduced to a beautiful showgirl and wants to settle down, but he'll find his past may come back to haunt him and derail his desires for happiness... "You know what a bottle of acid could do to a face like that?" Nicholas Ray, director of Rebel Without a Cause, 55 Days of Peking, We Can't Go Home Again, Born to be Bad, In a Lonely Place, and On Dangerous Ground, delivers Party Girl. The storyline for this picture is very interesting, unpredictable, and contains interesting and unique characters. The cast delivers solid performances and includes Robert Taylor, John Ireland, Lee Cobb, Cyd Charisse, and Corey Allen. "Don't make me get tough." I came across this some time ago on cable and had to DVR it. It was very interesting and a unique classic picture that is a bit underrated and very well done. It isn't perfect, is dry in spots, and maybe a bit unrealistic, but still very entertaining and worth at least one viewing for fans of the classics. "Honey, you're just married to him." Grade: B

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

Not one of Ray's best films...and there isn't much of the party girl in Party Girl at all. In fact, while this seems like a film built around Cyd Charisse, she is just a side character in the main plot.

Vadim Dyment
Vadim Dyment

Lee J. Cobb is very good in this, as is Charisse and Robert Taylor. Solid crime drama (not sure if you can consider this a noir film, I'm inclined to say "no").

Matt Heiser
Matt Heiser

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