The Leech Woman (1960)

THE LEECH WOMAN (1960)
Article #451 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 6-9-2002
Posting date: 11-2-2002

An aging woman discovers a potion that restores her youth; unfortunately it requres the fluid from a pineal gland of a man.

Well, this movie is certainly not what I’d call dull, but it is unpleasant and distasteful. Part of the problem is that the script seems downright misanthropic; you end up disliking almost every character in the story. The opening scene sets the tone with the married couple sniping at each other endlessly; it’s not only unpleasant , but badly acted and written, and I found it totally unconvincing. The rest of the movie isn’t quite so bad; you’re grateful when Gloria Talbot shows up and manages to make a minor and potentially dull character interesting and even sympathetic by sheer dint of her careful performance. The movie is no fun, which isn’t necessarily fatal for a movie. The trouble is, if it’s going to be unpleasant, it either needs to be insightful enough to give us the feeling that we’re seeing something very real and relevant to us as human beings (this one doesn’t), or it needs to make some sort of observation that makes enduring the movie worthwhile. The main observation that this movie makes (that a woman’s entire worth is centered around her being young, beautiful and loved by men, a belief shared by every character in the movie) is not only inaccurate, it is positively damaging to those who believe it.

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