Flamingo Road (film)

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Flamingo Road
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Produced byJerry Wald
Screenplay byRobert Wilder
Based onFlamingo Road
1946 play
by Robert Wilder
Sally Wilder
Music byMax Steiner
CinematographyTed D. McCord
Edited byFolmar Blangsted
Michael Curtiz Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • May 6, 1949 (1949-05-06) (United States)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2 million[2] or $2,896,000[1]

Flamingo Road is a 1949 American film noir,directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet and David Brian. The screenplay by Robert Wilder was based on a 1946 play written by Wilder and his wife, Sally, which was based on Robert Wilder's 1942 novel of the same name.[3]

The plot follows an ex-carnival dancer who marries a local businessman to seek revenge on a corrupt political boss who had her railroaded into prison.


Lane Bellamy is a carnival dancer stranded in the small town of Boldon City in the Southern United States. She becomes romantically involved with Fielding Carlisle, a deputy sheriff whose career is controlled by Sheriff Titus Semple, a corrupt political boss who runs the town. Semple dislikes Bellamy and mounts a campaign against her. She has difficulty finding work and is arrested on a trumped-up morality charge. Meanwhile, Carlisle is the political machine's choice for state senator, and to portray the perfect political family, he marries his long-time girlfriend, Annabelle Weldon.

Sad that the love of her life has divorced himself from her, Bellamy finds work as a hostess at a roadhouse run by Lute Mae Sanders. There, she meets Dan Reynolds, a businessman who supports the corrupt Semple so long as it is profitable. She charms Reynolds into marrying her and the couple moves to the town's best neighborhood, Flamingo Road.

As a kingmaker in the state, Semple decides to run Carlisle for governor and unseat the incumbent. This is too much even for Reynolds and now he decides to oppose Semple. When Carlisle, who has a weakness for alcohol, also begins to show his limits in cooperating with Semple, Semple flies into a rage and abandons him, destroying Carlisle's career. Then Semple makes himself the candidate. At this, Reynolds grows stronger in his opposition. So Semple arranges to have Reynolds framed.

Later a drunken Carlisle, who knows what's happening but feels the situation is hopeless, visits the mansion on Flamingo Road and commits suicide practically in front of Bellamy. This gives Semple another weapon in his bid to ruin Bellamy and her husband, who has now been indicted for graft. Bellamy confronts Semple with a gun and demands he phone the attorney general and confess everything, but a physical struggle ensues and she shoots him dead. At the end, Bellamy is in prison awaiting a ruling and Reynolds indicates he will stick by her.



Box Office[edit]

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $2,263,000 domestically and $633,000 foreign.[1]


Howard Barnes wrote in the New York Herald Tribune, "Joan Crawford acquits herself ably in an utterly nonsensical and undefined part...It's no fault of hers she cannot handle the complicated romances and double crosses in which she is involved."[4] Bosley Crowther of The New York Times called it a "jumbled melodrama" in which Crawford robotically experiences a series of crises.[5] Variety described it as "a class vehicle for Joan Crawford, loaded with heartbreak, romance and stinging violence."[6]


The film was adapted into an American TV series, Flamingo Road (1980 - 1982).

Home media[edit]

The film was released on VHS by Warner Home Video in 1998, which also issued it on DVD in 2008 as part of "The Joan Crawford Collection: Volume 2".


  1. ^ a b c Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 29 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. ^ "Top Grossers of 1949". Variety. 4 January 1950. p. 59.
  3. ^ Flamingo Road at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  4. ^ Quirk, Lawrence J.. The Films of Joan Crawford. The Citadel Press, 1968.
  5. ^ Crowther, Bosley (May 7, 1949). "Flamingo Road (1949)". The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  6. ^ "Review: 'Flamingo Road'". Variety. 1949. Retrieved February 20, 2015.

External links[edit]