Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 9
If I were in Chicago tonight, and could find a baby sitter, you would totally find me at the Portage Theater for a screening of the 1948 20th Century-Fox production, The Walls of Jericho. Presented by the Northwest Chicago Film Society, a 35mm print will be screened of this turn of the century drama starring Cornel Wilde, Anne Baxter, Kirk Douglas, Linda Darnell, and of course, Ann Dvorak.
I re-watched this one recently while writing about it in the Dvorak bio, and must admit that it’s an engaging film. Ann has a very small role, which had become the norm at this point in her career, but as Belle Connors (great name) she is a bitter and caustic drunk with an insecure streak not seen in most of her other characters. Belle is a loathsome person who behaves irrationally most of the time, but through Ann, she does illicit some sympathy as she is clearly battling some major demons. And, she gets to wield a gun!
As much as I adore Ann, the real stand out for me is Linda Darnell. As the conniving and opportunistic Algeria Wedge (another great name), she is delightfully evil while looking fabulous in the period costumes.