The Girl in Black Stockings
I have a simple philosophy when it comes to movies: if the wardrobe was provided by The Pink Poodle in Kanab, Utah, the film is a must-see. Which is how I ended up watching The Girl in Black Stockings (1957). And, yes, the outfits were adorable.
Lex Barker stars as a city prosecutor getting a little r&r in the mountains, and John Dehner is the sheriff, a good-natured guy who doesn’t quite get the point of his job (he discusses the details of a murder case with one of the suspects). Anne Bancroft is Barker’s love interest with a terrible secret—she’d been married before, and Mamie Van Doren is there to remind us of the importance of eye candy.
The Girl in Black Stockings ambles along at a leisurely pace taking us from the discovery of a murdered glamor girl, to a not-so-accidental drowning, to a horrendous mill accident. Who killed the glamor girl—and the other rapidly mounting corpses? There are lots of suspects, the best of which is a quadriplegic resort owner, a terribly unsympathetic, unpleasant character who is totally dependent on his sister. Perhaps he is merely suffering from “hysterical” paralysis… Or maybe his sister is a little more twisted than we suspect… In case you are onto the murderer too early in the film, a horribly stereotypical drunken American Indian makes an appearance to throw you off the track.
Like Crime against Joe, The Girl in Black Stockings is a good example of Film Gris—lots of talk, little action, less suspense. It’s a film that wastes a talented cast and 73 minutes of your time. It’s not so bad that you should avoid it at all costs, but not good enough to make the effort to see. There’s not even a girl in black stockings.
The Girl in Black Stockings is available on DVD from on-line retailers and is “Manufactured on Demand.”