October 15, 1925 – November 4, 2019
Virginia Leith, who’s known for appearing in Stanley Kubrick’s Fear And Desire (1953) and The Brain The Wouldn’t Die (1962), has passed away at 94.
It’s a shame those two pictures are her legacy, since the model and actress was also in a couple really good movies — Richard Fleischer’s Violent Saturday (1955) and Gerd Oswald’s A Kiss Before Dying (1956). She retired after The Brain The Wouldn’t Die (she was the girlfriend whose decapitated head was kept alive in a pan), but started working again on TV in the late 70s — turning up on stuff like Baretta, Starsky And Hutch and Police Woman.
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, Raymond Burr, Fay Wray, Virginia Grey, Royal Dano
ClassicFlix has Gerd Oswald’s Crime Of Passion (1957) on the way, both Blu-Ray and DVD. This was an early direction gig for Oswald, but he did some great stuff right out of the gate, such as A Kiss Before Dying (1956) and Fury At Showdown (1957, a personal favorite). He had a real knack for getting the most out of a tiny budget and tinier schedule — and the results are always stylish. This made him perfect for later TV work like The Outer Limits and Star Trek.
Of course, with a cast like this one — Stanwyck, Hayden, Burr, etc., how could he miss? Crime Of Passion was dismissed as just another B noir back in the day, and it certainly deserves the reappraisal it’s received over the years. It’ll be great to have it spiffed up on Blu-Ray, where Joseph LaShelle’s camerawork can really shine. Highly recommended.