Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ada (1961)



“Never trust a woman, Sylvester, any man would tell you that”

            Ada is about politics in the south in the 1930s. To me it tries to be a political thriller and it just falls miserably short.
            Bo Gillis (Dean Martin) is running for governor in a southern state. He is not a typical politician. He carries around a guitar and sings. Bo’s friend Steve writes all his speeches. He finds it odd that Steve is not the one running for governor since he had more education. In one town the two friends go to a bar at the hotel for a party. Someone sets Ada (Susan Hayward) up with Bo to give him a good time. Ada has no idea who Bo is or why he is so important. Bo really enjoys talking to Ada and they go up to his room. They spend the night together. The next morning when Steve comes in Ada leaves without saying goodbye.
            A few nights later Bo and Ada have dinner together. He does not want her to go to Memphis. Bo asks her to marry him. Steve is not happy about Bo marrying Ada and neither is Sylvester, Bo’s mentor and backer. Both men are worried about the voters. Sylvester says they will just write up a fake biography of Ada for the campaign. Ada does not care she had made up a few lies about herself before.
            Sylvester wants to get Bo into office no matter what it takes. He talks to the Lieutenant Governor about how the bigger cities may be hard to gain votes and is thinking about buying votes on the reform ticket. Sylvester heard a rumor that the opponent’s wife is addicted to drugs. He has the opponents home raided and the wife arrested. The wife made bail then went home and killed herself. Bo wins the cities by a landslide.
            After this things get complicated for Bo and Ada. Bo, with Ada’s help, starts thinking on his own which Sylvester does not like and tries to have Bo killed. Ada becomes acting governor for Bo then Bo thinks she is the one who tried to kill him and he gets mad at her. Seriously, it becomes a mess.
            Susan Hayward was, as usual, fantastic. She always played a tough woman who never took crap from anyone and that was the way Ada was. No one could have played Ada any better than Hayward. This was the first time I have ever seen Dean Martin in a film. I am so used to hearing him sing that the first time I heard Martin talk it was weird! He has such a gorgeous singing voice and when he talks he almost sounds like a little boy.

            Ada was way too long for me. I got bored of the story pretty quickly. It was as though the story tried to be a backstabbing political thriller and, as I mentioned, it failed. I only suggest watching Ada if you are a fan of either Susan Hayward or Dean Martin.