Lulu Belle is a 1948 film that I had never heard of until it showed up on my Netflix suggestions. It stars Dorothy Lamour and George Montgomery. It has little or no notice on either of their biographies on the internet and I found very little written about it. I am not sure why though. I found it to be very entertaining and much better than I expected. Dorothy plays completely against character which may attain to its lack of success. There is not one sarong to be found in this film, and no Bing Crosby or Bob Hope to lighten things up for her. Instead you find Dorothy playing a conniving woman who uses the men in her life to climb to the top in the early 1900’s. Starting in Natchez, Mississippi and following Lulu Belle to her success on Broadway in New York, the movie depicts a woman who wants success at any cost. The movie has a fun cast to watch. Dorothy Lamour is beautiful and glamorous in the period costumes making you wish this movie was in color. George Montgomery was never more handsome. And it was great to see Glenda Farrell in a supporting role. Lulu Belle ruins the life for every man she is involved with in the movie. Even in the end when she realizes all her mistakes and and wants to return to her true love George Davis, the George Montgomery character she still cause nothing but destruction. George is the only character strong enough to walk way from the charms of Lulu Belle in the end.
In all honesty, its not a great film by any measure. But for me it was a pleasant surprise and not what I expected. It was great to find Dorothy Lamour playing such a different character. If your prepared to forget her sarong draped jungle pictures and her light hearted Crosby and Hope Road pictures, this is a welcome dramatic turn and great fun to watch.
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