AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Flamingo Road
Director: Michael Curtiz (Dir)
Release Date:   30 Apr 1949
Production Date:   early Sep--late Oct 1948
Duration (in mins):   94 or 96
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Cast:   Joan Crawford (Lane Bellamy)  
    Zachary Scott (Fielding Carlisle)  
    Sydney Greenstreet (Sheriff Titus Semple)  
    David Brian (Dan Reynolds)  
    Gladys George (Lute-Mae Sanders)  
    Virginia Huston (Annabelle Weldon)  
    Fred Clark (Doc Waterson)  
    Gertrude Michael (Millie)  
    Alice White (Gracie)  
    Sam McDaniel (Boatright)  
    Dick Ryan (Barker)  
    Pat Gleason (Barker)  
    Louis J. Manley (Fire-eater)  
    Duke Johnson (Juggler)  
    Dolores Castle (Harem girl)  
    Bridget Brown (Harem girl)  
    Mike Carillo (Strong man)  
    Walter Baldwin (Todd)  
    Dick Elliott (Tom Coyne)  
    James Flavin (Angry man)  
    Ken Britton (Willie Weaver)  
    William Bailey (John Shelton)  
    Tristram Coffin (Ed Parker)  
    Frank Cady (Leo Mitchell)  
    John Gallaudet (Tom Hill)  
    Morgan Farley (Niles)  
    Merwyn Bogue (Johnny Simms)  
    Dale Robertson (Tunis Simms)  
    Gary Owen (Postman)  
    Jack Cheatham (Farmer)  
    John McGuire (Plain-Clothes Man)  
    Joel Allen (Patrolman)  
    Iris Adrian (Blanche)  
    Bunty Cutler (Waitress)  
    Mary Bradley (Waitress)  
    Carol Brewster (Waitress)  
    Sunny Knight (Waitress)  
    Jerry Paris (Soda jerk)  
    Charles Conrad (Photographer)  
    Russ Conway (Reporter)  
    Raquel Flores (Specialty)  
    Bill Haade (Burr Lassen)  
    Sammy McKim (Bellboy)  
    Jan Kayne (Sarah)  
    Tom Stevenson (Maitre'd)  
    Larry Blake (Martin)  
    Pierre Watkin (Senator)  
    Roy Gordon (Senator)  
    Robert Strange (Peterson)  
    William Erwin (Inspector)  
    Leslie Kimmel (Lawyer)  
    Tito Vuolo (Pete Ladas)  
    Frank Scannell    

Summary: Stranded in Boldon City when the carnival with which she is a dancer leaves town to avoid creditors, Lane Bellamy is befriended by deputy sheriff Fielding Carlisle, who has been sent to close down the carnival. Learning that the attractive Lane intends to get a job and settle in Boldon City, Field invites her to dinner and helps her obtain a waitress job and a place to stay. He is observed by his mentor, Sheriff Titus Semple, who plans to get Field elected to the state legislature. A woman such as Lane has no place in Titus' plans, and he encourages Field to marry socialite Annabelle Weldon, who lives on Flamingo Road, the town's wealthy section. Titus then has Lane fired from her job. When she tries to place an ad in the town newspaper, editor Doc Waterson explains that Titus will prevent her being hired anywhere in town. After Lane angrily confronts Titus and announces that she will stay in Boldon City if it kills her, Titus frames her for streetwalking, and she is sent to prison. There, another convict recommends that on her release, Lane ask Lute-Mae Sanders, the owner of a roadhouse, for a job. Lute-Mae likes Lane's spirit and, despite her misgivings, hires her. Titus again tries to have Lane fired, but Lute-Mae refuses to be bullied. One day, Lane meets political boss Dan Reynolds, who falls in love with her. He asks her to go with him when he leaves for New York and Washington, D.C. and, even though she is still in love with Field, Lane agrees. Meanwhile, with the help of Dan and Titus, Field, whose unhappy marriage has driven him to drink, is elected. When he encounters Dan and Lane in Washington, he learns that they have been married. After Dan and Lane return to Flamingo Road, Titus and Dan become adversaries when Dan refuses to run Field for governor. Titus then arranges to frame Dan for illegally using convict labor in his construction company. Field is so disturbed by Titus' tactics that he goes on a binge, and Titus abandons him. When Dan calls a meeting of his associates, Titus barges in and threatens all of them with jail if they do not agree to run him for governor. Only Dan refuses to give in to Titus' blackmail. Later, when Lane explains why Titus hates her so much, Dan mistakenly believes that she still loves Field and leaves town. Late one night, Field visits Lane, who tells him she no longer loves him. He then informs her that Titus framed Dan and, learning that she really loves her husband, kills himself in her house. Dan is indicted for peonage--illegally using prisoners to work without wages in business--and Waterson advises him to leave town. An angry Lane then follows Titus to Lute-Mae's and demands at gunpoint that he clear Dan's name. During the ensuing struggle, Titus is killed. Later, the death is ruled an accident, and Dan and Lane are reunited. 

Production Company: Michael Curtiz Productions, Inc.  
Production Text: A Michael Curtiz Production
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Michael Curtiz (Dir)
  Norman Stuart (Dial dir)
  Robert Vreeland (Asst dir)
Producer: Jerry Wald (Prod)
  George Amy (Assoc prod)
Writer: Robert Wilder (Scr)
  Edmund H. North (Addl dial)
Photography: Ted McCord (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Leo K. Kuter (Art dir)
Film Editor: Folmar Blangsted (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Howard Winterbottom (Set dec)
Costumes: Travilla (Miss Crawford's gowns des by)
  Sheila O'Brien (Executed by)
Music: Murray Cutter (Orch)
  Max Steiner (Orig mus)
  Ray Heindorf (Mus dir)
Sound: Robert B. Lee (Sd)
Special Effects: David Curtiz (2d unit and mont dir)
Make Up: Perc Westmore (Makeup artist)
Country: United States

Songs: "If I Could Be With You," music and lyrics by Henry Creamer and James P. Johnson.
Composer: Henry Creamer
  James P. Johnson
Source Text: Based on the play Flamingo Road by Robert and Sally Wilder (New York, 19 Mar 1946).
Authors: Sally Wilder
  Robert Wilder

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Michael Curtiz Productions, Inc. 30/4/1949 dd/mm/yyyy LP2263

PCA NO: 13459
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Melodrama
 
Subjects (Major): Class distinction
  Political bosses
  Political corruption
  Reputation
  Revenge
  Romance
 
Subjects (Minor): Accidental death
  Alcoholics
  Carnivals
  Editors
  Frame-ups
  Poker (Game)
  Prisons
  Roadhouses
  Suicide
  Waitresses

Note: A 27 Aug 1946 HR news item reports that Pedro Armend├íriz tested for a lead role in the film. According to a 19 Sep 1948 NYT article, the film took two years to write and cast. Ann Sheridan, who was first cast in the lead role, rejected the part after deciding that the adaption was neither good nor faithful to the book. Robert Wilder then rewrote the script. The article adds that the novel and play were set in Florida, but the location was made anonymous in the film. In the novel, "Lute-Mae's" roadhouse was a house of prostitution. The film's opening credits read "Warner Bros. Pictures presents Joan Crawford in Flamingo Road by Robert Wilder." This film marked David Brian's first screen appearance. On 26 May 1950, Joan Crawford starred in A Screen Directors' Playhouse version of the story. A radio version of Flamingo Road starring Jane Wyman was broadcast by Lux Radio Theatre on 2 Oct 1950. The novel also provided the basis for a 1980 television movie, directed by Gus Trikonis and starring John Beck, Cristina Raines and Howard Duff, and for a follow-up 1981-82 NBC series of the same name. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   9 Apr 1949.   
Daily Variety   5 Apr 49   p. 3.
Film Daily   7 Apr 49   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Aug 46   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Sep 48   p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Oct 48   p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Apr 49   p. 3.
Los Angeles Times   21 Jun 1947.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   9 Apr 49   p. 4565.
New York Times   19 Sep 1948.   
New York Times   7 May 49   p. 10.
Variety   6 Apr 49   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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