All posts tagged: frank borzage

Love, Money, and An Unnamed Procedure: Frank Borzage’s “Bad Girl”

There is a sweetly comic tension running through Frank Borzage’s romantic comedy-melodrama Bad Girl (1931) that arises from trying to discern how we are to regard the lower-class New York City couple at its center. Adapted from a 1928 novel by Vina Delmar, and a 1930 play by Delmar and Brian Marlowe, Bad Girl follows Dotty (played by Sally Eilers) and Eddie (played by James Dunn), who rush to marriage, move into a too-expensive building, and nervously await the birth of their not-all-that-wanted child. This tension extends to the title of the film itself. Dotty, a shop model, is introduced in an idealized situation in which she models a wedding dress — only to be leered at by male customers. She lives with her paternalistic and abusive older brother, Jim, who warns her of becoming a “bad girl” after she stays out late with Eddie and decides to marry him (as means to avoid Jim’s violent punishment which she has endured before, or perhaps, Borzage tentatively suggests, because she might just love Eddie). Eddie works …

Andrew Sweet is currently a Cinema Studies student at Oakland. He hopes to pursue a career in film production, specifically writing and directing his own features. If his television is on, it's likely that it's on the Turner Classic Movies channel. He thinks the streaming service Filmstruck is too good to be true. His favorite theater is the Redford Theater, where he had his senior year pictures taken. He loves giving film recommendations to friends and family.