Cary grant stars as a dairy farmer whose kindness towards and unmarried woman (loretta Young), and her son results in betrayal. Malcolm Trevor (Grant) and his wife (Marion Burns) are unable to conceive a child of their own... more ». So when Malcolm's truck accidentally hits Letty's (Young) son (Henry Travers) and Letty is declared an unfit mother, the couple gladly take the boy into their own home to raise as their own. Determined to take advantage of Malcolm's riches, however, Letty tries to blackmail him. In the end, selfless love and charity are celebrated in this heartwarming well-made classic.« less
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 12/04/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Movie: ** DVD Quality: ** DVD Extras: ****
I've seen enough of Loretta Young's and Cary Grant's early work to know that this movie surely represents some kind of nadir for both stars. Despite their considerable skills, no one could possibly turn this sow's ear of a script into anything resembling a decent film. Loretta plays a 22-year-old never- married mother of a 7-year-old son; the kid is being raised to be just as morally compromised as Mom. Enter Cary as a victim of one of their scams; before you can say, "What the hey?!!!?", Cary and his wife are raising Loretta's son ... Loretta's moving in on Cary to get her boy back ... Cary's wife is all-forgiving of her husband's dalliance ... Loretta does the "noble" thing by walking away and abandoning her son to Cary and wife's care. This all takes a scant 61 minutes that drags on f-o-r-e-v-e-r because no one does anything but talk, talk, and talk ... oh! they also slam doors - lots of doors - in Cary's lavish mansion. It couldn't have been fun for the actors to make this rubbage, but at least they must have known enough to stay away from the finished film!
Certainly whoever wrote the insert notes for this Fox Home Video release never watched the movie! They identify Cary's character as a "dairy farmer" (he's actually the very wealthy head of a dairy corporation); they name aged 50-something character player Henry Travers (Clarence the Angel in "It's a Wonderful Life") as the actor playing Loretta's 7-year-old son; and they describe the film as a "heartwarming, well-made classic" as well as a "gripping classic" (maybe they had this confused with Cary and Loretta's later film, "The Bishop's Wife", which really is a classic).
I doubt that whoever was in charged of transferring the film to video paid much attention to the movie, either. The picture is grainy throughout with some noticeable jumps (indicating bad splices); and the sound is frequently muddy as well. At least Fox doesn't claim it was restored. There is a nice selection of trailers from other movies Grant starred in at Fox, including "I Was a Male War Bride" (1949), "People Will Talk" (1951), "Monkey Business" (1952), "Kiss Them For Me" (1957), and "An Affair to Remember" (1957) ... but the trailer to this film isn't among them. There's also a small photo gallery.
Overall, I can't in good conscience recommend this DVD to anyone except the most diehard Young and Grant fans. But if for some reason you insist on watching it, check out the jurors in the trial scene ... doesn't the man on the front row to the right of your screen bear a resemblance to the producer of the film, Darryl F. Zanuck?"
BORN TO BE DISMAL ON DVD
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 01/29/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Born to Be Bad" is a very uncharacteristic Cary Grant movie. Uncharacteristic because it's at the beginning of his career, features him in an almost non-comedic role and has him cast as a man double-crossed by a woman of easy virtue in an almost maudelin plot. The story concerns Grant hitting the son of a woman of easy virtue (Loretta Young) with his car. He then having to make the mends. The rest is pure melodrama but pulled off with such panache that you'd scarcely mind any of the hockum. Truly, this is a very, very good movie.
TRANSFER: Unfortunately the same can't be said for FOX's transfer. We get a very dirty, very gritty, very grainy transfer that - although free of digital anomalies - is so heavily damanged by age that seeing the film is hardly worth the effort. Black and contrast levels are extremely weak, fine detail is lost in practically every scene and the ravages of time are glaring and obvious throughout. The audio hasn't been cleaned up either for a slight hiss and some unexpected pops along the way.
EXTRAS: Trailers from the other Grant films. Boring, unworthy and disappointing.
BOTTOM LINE: Someone should point out to studio executives that films pre-Star Wars are worth the time, effort and, oh yes, the MONEY that is required to make them sparkle like they did when they were premiered. Really, history is getting shafted here!!!"
Fernando Silva | Santiago de Chile. | 09/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't want to be too extensive. I only want to tell you this short (61 minutes of running time) Pre-Code, is a goody-goody, with Cary Grant, and especially Loretta Young, who is great in it...she looks ravishing, great gowns, slim-fitted, beautiful face-eyes, fresh beauty, great spunk.
I cannot understand why (I've read it) Loretta was "stereotyped" and "dismissed", mainly in the 1930's as being a so-so or bad actress, and being only a "clotheshorse"...untrue...she's radiantly good (Well BAD) (chuckles) here.
It's difficult to think of this LORETTA...when one thinks of the 1940's Loretta in "The Farmer's Daughter"....or her other teaming with Cary Grant, the excellent & cute & sentimental "The Bishop's Wife"...a completely different stuff.
I wanna watch more early '30s Loretta, not only her virginal-good characters (like "Zoo in Budapest" (I'd "kill" to see this one) or "The Crusades" (here she's mostly "decorative" IMHO)....but stuff like "Midnight Mary" (I've read it's TOP) "Employee's Entrance", "Taxi". "The Hatchet Man".....
The quality of the DVD is pretty good.
Pre-Code lovers watch it!"
Interesting pre-code film
Fernando Silva | 07/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I quite enjoyed this film - it's an interesting pre-code that was released about 6 weeks before enforcement of the production code. Loretta Young's acting is pretty good but Cary Grant is kind of dull - definitely not his best role. Some of the pre-code plot elements in this film include Loretta Young's unspecified "profession" and lifestyle that involves men and clothes and some of the rather risque shots of Loretta in her underwear. I think the release of this pre-code movie, which was previously unavailable, is to be applauded."
Loretta Young in brittle Pre-Code drama
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 06/10/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Effective Pre-Code drama starring Loretta Young in a role light years away from her virtuous characters in films like "The Bishop's Wife" and "The Farmer's Daughter".
BORN TO BE BAD stars Cary Grant and Marion Burns as married couple Malcolm and Alyce Trevor, whose lives are almost destroyed by scheming single mother Letty Strong (Loretta Young), when her son is injured by one of the milk trucks owned by the Trevors' large dairy company. Taking Malcolm all the way to the bank - literally - Letty's blackmail and bitchery eventually leads to her predictable ruin...
Marion Burns gamely plays Grant's rather passive and uninteresting wife (she was much more enjoyable in Monogram's "Sensation Hunters" which is available via Alpha Video); BORN TO BE BAD is mainly notable for the pairing of Grant and Young, thirteen years before their most celebrated co-starring vehicle, "The Bishop's Wife".
Co-starring Jackie Kelk and Henry Travers, BORN TO BE BAD will interest Cary Grant completists and Pre-Code fans; the performance of Loretta Young should make it a worthwhile title for casual viewers as well. (Single-sided, single-layer disc)."