Monday, May 20, 2013

Bad Girls: Fun to Write, Fun to Hate!

I finally finished edits on Masquerade and just sent the manuscript off to my proof reader--who happens to be my amazing mother-in-law!  She catches errors 999 people out of 1000 would miss.

Yesterday, when I talked to her about the manuscript, I mentioned my bad girl, Lavinia. Lavinia was certainly a fun character to write, and my mother-in-law and I agreed that it's enjoyable to read about a character you love to hate! This brought to mind the chilling movie Leave Her to Heaven, a 1945 film adapted from a novel by the same name, written by Ben Ames Williams.

There's a major bad girl in this narrative, on film portrayed by the beautiful Gene Tierney.  According to Wikipedia, "The story revolves around a femme fatale who entraps a husband and commits several crimes motivated by her insane jealousy over everything concerning him."

In order to be really bad, there's got to be an element of mental illness. My character, Lavinia, is no doubt crazy, as is Tierney's psychopathic Ellen Berent.  A review of the movie Leave Her to Heaven follows from Rotten Tomatoes:  
Gene Tierney portrays a beautiful but unstable woman who marries successful novelist Cornel Wilde. Tierney wants to spend all her time with her new husband, but finds it impossible to do so thanks to his work and the frequent visits of family and friends. When Wilde's crippled younger brother (Darryl Hickman) comes to the couple's summer house to stay, Ms. Tierney indirectly causes the boy to drown. Later, upon discovering that she's pregnant, Tierney deliberately falls down the stairs, choosing to miscarry rather than share her husband's affections with an infant. When it becomes clear that family friend Jeanne Crain is attracted to her husband, Ms. Tierney commits suicide, making her death appear to be murder and framing Crain for the "crime." In court, Ms. Crain is mercilessly grilled by prosecuting attorney Vincent Price, who happens to be Tierney's ex-lover! 
Creepy, chilling, tragic and worth watching!  Have you ever seen Leave Her to Heaven? Who are some of your favorite bad girls in books and movies?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

15 comments:

Old Kitty said...

What a character!! What a film!! What a melodrama - I LOVE IT!! I shall totally watch out for this film - I'm sorry to say I've not heard of it nor seen it and I'm surprised it didn't get censored (thank goodness! LOL!).

Gosh I do like Anne Baxter in All About Eve!! She's a bad bad bad girl (but not as crazy bad as Gene Tierney's character!! Lordy!!). And Cruella de Ville!! LOL!

As for bad girls in books - my first thought is Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair (totally didn't like her though) and the delicious Marquis de Mertuil (sp! sorry!) in Les Liaisons Dangereuses!!

Yay for your fab mum in law, proof reader extraordinaire! Take care
x

Maria McKenzie said...

It's such a fun film because Ellen Berent is so sick!

Anne Baxter is pretty treacherous as Eve--very bad girl! I've never read Vanity Fair or Les Liaisons Dangereuses, but it sounds like I need to!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Yup, I didn't find Lavinia particularly likable in Escape, but she was certainly interesting! I have no doubt you'll be able to evoke a bit of sympathy for her as well in Masquerade!

Maria McKenzie said...

Even though I hate her, I feel sorry for her. Sometimes, you can see where she's coming from, even though she is twisted;).

Norma Beishir said...

I've seen it--several times.

It would be a miserable existence to be like her in real life, so afraid of everyone and everything that might take even a scrap of attention away from her....

Maria McKenzie said...

I know! Very sad. I don't think anyone sane would act like that.

Shelly said...

Wow! I need to find that book/movie and see the whole thing!

My favorite bad girl is probably Scarlet O'Hara. Although she's probably not as bad as most bad girls- just self-centered and controlling.

Congrats on Masquerade!

Maria McKenzie said...

Thanks, Shelly!

I love Scarlet! Yeah, she's not really bad, just a self-centered control freak;).

William Kendall said...

It's a film I've heard about, but haven't seen. I have seen her in recent days, watching The Ghost And Mrs. Muir again.

The Desert Rocks said...

Probably Scarlett O' Hara. She was bad in a sweet way....

Maria McKenzie said...

@William: You'd lke it! I've never seen the movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. But I used to watch the TV show back in the seventies;).

@Eve: Being sweet made her a little easier to like!

William Kendall said...

I'll track it down. And believe me, see the film. The chemistry between her and Rex Harrison is perfect.

Maria McKenzie said...

Awesome! I just put The Ghost and Mrs. Muir on hold at my library:).

Nas said...

Fantastic. I'm going to hunt this movie down. Want to see it now.

Thanks Maria!

Maria McKenzie said...

Gene Tierney is amazing in the role of Ellen!