24 mai 1947. Dishonored Lady, quel titre intrigant se dit le passant cinéphile. Sa curiosité titillée juste ce qu’il faut, il s’engouffre alors dans la salle du Roxy ignorant les interrogations du critique Bosley Crowther.
Critique d’époque :
« Hunt Stromberg’s Dishonored Lady, which came to the Broadway yesterday, is freely and openly admitted, before it is five minutes old, to be the story of « a beautiful woman who doesn’t care what happens to her. » And although we dislike being obvious and would wish to be perfectly fair, we must confess that, after watching her for some time, we were in very much the same state of mind.It isn’t so much that the lady is a bit of a neurotic bore. Many of our very best heroines are that in movies today. And since this dishonored lady is played by Hedy Lamarr, in a different costume for every sequence, she is not too painful to observe. But, golly, the antique dramatics which this poor creature has to go through are enough to try the patience of Aunt Jenny on the radio!
It seems that she’s one of those females with a wonderful magazine job a fine home, oodles of money and a regiment of gentlemen friends. But, of course, she is just too tired of all this and would like to end it all, except that a keen-eyed psychiatrist persuades her to change her tack. « Hide away and find your true self, » he tells her- which naturally she does, in a Greenwich Village garret, where she also finds a research scientist. They are about to make beautiful music, being very much in love, when one of her old boy friends shows up – a wealthy wolf – and gets her villainously soused. Everything goes black. There’s a murder. And, the next thing you know, we’re all in court, wearily going through the business of proving the innocence and beauty of true love.
Stringing along with this hookum, in addition to Miss Lamarr, are John Loder, Dennis O’Keefe, William Lundigan and a half-dozen other unfortunates. All of them smile at the birdie and do the other things that Robert Stevenson directs but they all seem to know that they’re not kidding the customers any more than they are kidding themselves.
In case there is any question, the story is not the same as that of the Dishonored Lady which Katharine Cornell once played on the stage. This one is quite a revision, concocted by Edmund H. North, apparently under the influence of an old Norma Talmadge script » par Bosley Crowther pour le New York Times.
Soyons clair. Bosley Crowther s’est totalement désintéressé de ce qui pouvait bien arriver à cette pauvre Hedy Lamarr. Il reconnait tout juste qu’elle est très agréable à regarder. Ce qui est un peu misogyne, vous en conviendrez. Je ne l’ai pas perçu ainsi. Mais j’avoue ne pas avoir été convaincu par Dishonored Lady. J’ai même été parfois gêné par son discours quelque peu discourtois à l’égard des femmes. C’est par ici.
La Femme Déshonorée est à découvrir en DVD à petit prix chez Artus Films ici.