Walk on the Wild Side, 1962, Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Fonda, Capucine

Last night I watched the most delightful movie!

It starred Myrna Loy, Jeanette McDonald and Maurice Chevalier. I believe it was his first American movie. Until I saw this movie, I could not really understand the appeal of Maurice Chavelie but this movie showed me!… But that’s a story for another day!

As the movie ended and switched back to the currently playing movie on TCM, just as I was about to switch off the TV, I caught sight of a very young Jane Fonda and another very beautiful young lady that looked familiar. I was intrigued…

Then, in walked Barbra Stanwyck! I love Barbra Stanwyck! My attention was caught!!

I switched to the guide to see what movie this was. It was almost over but there was nothing in the description that would have caught my attention, even if the movie was just beginning!

Strike 1: it was a brothel story (I prefer happy movies and unless it’s “Pretty Woman”, brothel movies rarely have happy endings).

Strike 2: the description only mentions 2 men that I’ve never heard of and the production date is past that of most of my favorite movies.

Strike 3: there was no one in the accompanying guide photo that I recognized, so I would never have known to even record this movie.

Why weren’t the ladies mentioned?? Even if Jane Fonda didn’t yet have the star power to be listed, Barbara Stanwyck certainly did!

I switched back to the movie and was mesmerized. It’s set in a large southern looking home. The girls are wearing beautiful gowns, there are crystal chandeliers, beautiful draperies, wall sconces and a half round bar.

Jane Fonda’s character is named Kitty and her claws are out! She notices a handsome young man that she knows. They are surprised to see each other.

Watch out for the claws!

The handsome young man has a southern accent. His name is Dove. He asks Kitty what she’s doing there. She tells him that she was in jail for vagrancy and that she’d still be there if the lady of the house had not bailed her out and given her a job. He tells Kitty that he’s searching for Hallie and Kitty tells him that he better get in line.

Hallie with a male client

It seems that Hallie is the favorite of most of the gentleman and receives some special treatment from the lady of the house. She has a larger room than the other girls, is allowed to paint and sculpt and is not subjected to beatings by the house guard, Olly, as the other girls are.

Dove finds Hallie and they talk.

It’s looking like this is a Romeo and Juliet type story.

How Juliet ended up in a brothel, I couldn’t tell you but Romeo has come to take her away from all of this.

At first, she’s angry, she refuses and tells him that if he doesn’t have the money to pay for her time, then he can see himself out.

He shows her that he has money and tells her that she’s welcome to it. She takes him to her room but he’s only there to convince her to come away with him. She cries because she feels that she’s not worthy of him and her old life.

He comforts her and assures her that none of that matters to him. He loves and wants her back. He wants to marry her. He’s spent 3 years searching for her.

She reluctantly agrees, knowing it will be difficult to escape. Jo, the lady of the house, would never willingly let her leave because she is the most popular girl there. They plan an escape and he leaves, so everything will look normal.

Hallie is caught trying to escape, so Dove goes back to help her

In the end, the escape is not successful. The beautiful girl is dead, Dove is near dead and Kitty probably is, too.

Dove is beaten nearly to death, Kitty tries to save him
Hallie is shot

I don’t usually cry at movies but I had tears in my eyes as she the beautiful girl died.

The ending is bittersweet because at least all the bad guys get life imprisonment but… the beautiful girl is dead, which leaves Romeo without his Juliet. Kitty was instrumental in putting all the bad guys away but she is underage and is sent back to juvenile services, which is where she was trying to escape from to start with.

I will be watching again from the beginning and encourage you to watch it too. It may be a sad story but I believe, it may just be a hidden gem.

NOTE: I had a difficult time finding the full length movie to watch, since tcm apparently did not have it on the schedule again anytime soon. I finally found it on Amazon Prime but had to rent it for $3.99.

To me, this is a sad but sweet story about how the best made plans do not always work and how life does not always work out the way we think it will, when we are young and full of dreams. Dove, Hallie and even Kitty pictured very different lives for themselves, than the ones they had.

I hope you enjoy the movie. Please let me know what you think in the comments.


Published by sharietomlinson

I’m Sharie. Owner of Butterfly Bunny Studio and The Urban Duck. Mixed Media Watercolor Artist, Bunny & Disney Lover, Avid Gardener, Proud Mother to Josh, Bunny Momma to Princess Buttercup Bunny and Wifey to Jason. I am located in Columbia, Md but I’m a Harford County girl at heart! You can find me on Etsy at Butterflybunnystudio.store and on Instagram at @notjoshsmom Email me at butterflybunnyarts@gmail.com

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