In SMOOTH AS SILK (Universal, 1945),it was interesting to see Virginia Grey as a manipulative femme fatale.
In the All About Eve vein, Virginia is an actress who would do anything for the lead in producer John Litel’s new play.
Lawyer Kent Taylor is so under her spell, he gets Litel’s playboy nephew (Danny Morton) cleared of a road accident death charge. But Litel doesnt play ball and Virginia turns her attention to the rich nephew.
Milburn Stone is the D.A. who lost the case against the nephew.
She starts juggling Kent and the nephew – using her sister (Theresa Harris) who has come to stay with her.
One neat little plot line is the fact that the part Virginia wants calls for an actress to be selfish and a cheat. The nephew says she wouldnt be convincing!
She then sets out to trap Litel and of course she gets the part and he wants to marry her.
When Taylor finalises realises her duplicity, she coldly tells him,
“This is goodbye. I’m turning you out of my life.I shant need you any more.!”
Instead of realising his good fortune, Taylor plans to make her dependent on him again.
He kills Litel,leaving clues Virginia was at Litel’s home when it happened. He then calls Milburn Stone and says he did it!
He is not believed and Virginia is arrested.
Another good scene is when Virginia calls her agent, convinced she’ll get off and they can re-open the play. Her agent tells her she is washed up.
Kent, now as deadly as Virginia, tries to get the nephew blamed for the murder.
The ending is good.
And all in 62 minutes!
Nice change of pace for Virginia Grey and she did well. Maybe not as smooth as Anne Baxter but very convincing.