Flamingo Road (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Curtiz|
|Produced by||Jerry Wald|
Edmund H. North
|Music by||Max Steiner|
|Cinematography||Ted D. McCord|
|Editing by||Folmar Blangsted|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||May 6, 1949|
|Running time||94 minutes|
Flamingo Road (1949) is a Warner Bros. feature film starring Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet and David Brian in a noir story about small town political corruption. The screenplay by Edmund H. North was based on a play by Robert and Sally Wilder, which was adapted from Robert Wilder's 1942 novel. The film was directed by Michael Curtiz and produced by Jerry Wald.
Plot and cast 
Lane Bellamy (Crawford) is a carnival dancer stranded in the fictitious small town of Boldon City in the Southern United States. She becomes romantically involved with Fielding Carlisle (Scott), a deputy sheriff whose career is controlled by Sheriff Titus Semple (Greenstreet), a corrupt political boss who runs the town. Semple dislikes Bellamy and mounts a campaign against her. She has difficulty finding work and is arrested on a trumped-up morality charge. Eventually, she finds work as a hostess at a roadhouse run by Lute Mae Sanders (Gladys George). There, she meets Dan Reynolds (David Brian), a businessman who supports the corrupt Semple so long as it is profitable. She charms Reynolds into marrying her and the couple moves to the town's best neighborhood, Flamingo Road. Meanwhile, as a kingmaker in the state, Semple decides to run Carlisle for governor and unseat the incumbent. This is too much even for Reynolds and now he decides to oppose Semple. When Carlisle, who has a weakness for drink, also begins to show his limits in cooperating with Semple, Semple flies into a rage and abandons him, destroying Carlisle's career. Then Semple makes himself the candidate. At this, Reynolds grows stronger in his opposition. So Semple arranges to have Reynolds framed. Later a drunken Carlisle, who knows what's happening but feels the situation is hopeless, visits the mansion on Flamingo Road and commits suicide practically in front of Bellamy. This gives Semple another weapon in his bid to ruin Bellamy and her husband. Bellamy confronts Semple with a gun and demands he phone the attorney general and confess everything, but a physical struggle ensues and she accidentally shoots him dead. At the end, Bellamy is in prison awaiting a ruling and Reynolds indicates he will stick by her.
Howard Barnes writes in the New York Herald Tribune, "Joan Crawford acquits herself ably in an utterly nonsensical and undefined part...It's no fault of hers she cannot handle the complicated romances and double crosses in which she is involved."
Cultural impact 
The film was adapted into a 1980s American television series, Flamingo Road.
- Joan Crawford as Lane Bellamy
- Zachary Scott as Fielding Carlisle
- Sydney Greenstreet as Sheriff Titus Semple
- Gladys George as Lute Mae Sanders
- David Brian as Dan Reynolds
- Virginia Huston as Annabelle Weldon
- Fred Clark as Docttor Waterson
- Gertrude Michael as Millie
- Tito Vuolo as Pete Ladas
- Alice White as Gracie
- Sam McDaniel as Boatright
- Quirk, Lawrence J.. The Films of Joan Crawford. The Citadel Press, 1968.