The trashy Claudelle Inglish (1961) starring Fantasy Femme Diane McBain as the Southern vixen is getting a rare airing on Turner Classic Movies Friday night June 1 at midnight. Based on a novel by Erskine Caldwell, it is the story of a Southern farm girl, who after getting jilted by fiancee Chad Everett, turns into the town bad girl using men until she meets a bad end.

A Warner Bros. contract player, Diane McBain beat out Connie Stevens, Shirley Knight and others to get this much coveted role. This was released after McBain played an unhappy drunken socialite in Parrish opposite Troy Donahue. She was so good in both movies that they typed her as the bad girl in many films to come despite her comedic turn for two seasons on ABC-TV’s Surfside 6.


Comments: 12

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  • Very entertaining movie, just saw it last night on TCM. Diane was terrific and beautiful. She has just shot up to a high tier on my personal femme fatale pantheon! Great poster, too.

    • Yes, I agree. Diane McBain I think was under rated. Though I love her later Sixties roles with Elvis and in AIP movies, she did deserve better.

  • John Black

    Thanks for the heads-up. I recall reading about this film in the pages of my mother’s Screen Stories magazine back in 1961. Although she was taking me to movies regularly by then, we never attended this one. I was 8 or 9 when it was released, so I guess mom thought it was too mature for me. I never got to see it until now, and I always love catching up to ‘lost” films from the sixties. The cast was excellent.

  • John Black

    Later this month, either TCM or FMC will air DESIRE IN THE DUST (1960), starring Martha Hyer. It sounds as though it is cut from the same cloth as CLAUDELLE INGLISH. I’ve never seen DESIRE IN THE DUST, either

    • Never saw Desire in the Dust. Anne Helm is the starlet in that one.

  • Michael H

    Yes, thanks for the heads-up on this obscure film. It’s one I’ve wanted to see for many years. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out even though the budget was obviously skimpy. Diane McBain turned in a terrific performance as did the ever reliable Constance Ford and Arthur Kennedy as her parents. In fact, I thought the entire supporting case was topnotch. Too bad this film did not do more for Diane’s film career. She was far better than most of the material she was given, especially after she left WB.

    Michael H

    • Yes, I agree Diane was wonderful as was Constance Ford always terrific as the mother from hell. Diane was sooo good typecast her as the bad girl for years to come.

  • John Black

    DESIRE IN THE DUST is scheduled for this coming Saturday morning. Check your local listings. It will be on FMC (Fox Movies Channel). I have heard that FMC has started playing commercials during their films, which is a bummer.

  • […] I found the Claudelle Inglish poster at a cool site called Sixties Cinema here, which also features the amazing Claudelle Inglish trailer…which takes off on the sexual […]

  • I don’t get FMC currently, but I saw Desire in the Dust several years ago on a tape from a broadcast, and Martha Hyer is definitely vixenish in it, as I recall! For some reason I keep remembering her in that movie in a sleeveless dress that showed off her bare arms in an especially sexy way…

    I just wrote a little about Claudelle Inglish on my own blog, with a screen capture of Diane at her most teasing. I give a shout-out to Sixties Cinema too!

    • Thanks for the plug! Never seen Desire in the Dust and unfortunately I no longer get FOX Movie Channel.

  • While the stock footage of the stock cars holds a certain nostalgia, it’s the two female leads –Annette and Diane McBain–that make Thunder Alley watchable. McBain’s career got stuck in second gear while she was under contract with Warner Bros. Granted, the studio gave her a couple of juicy parts–the bad girl in Parrish, a lead role in the underrated Claudelle Inglish–but it also buried her in the TV series Surfside 6 as a flighty socialite. In Thunder Alley, McBain plays Callahan’s lover, who thinks his current gig in the thrill circus is “dullsville.” She views Callahan solely as an ends in a means (i.e., a celebrity lifestyle). However, that doesn’t stop her from threatening Francie when Annette’s character expresses her interest in Callahan. At that point, I was hoping for a catfight, but none materialized and I surmised that perhaps Fabian wasn’t worth it.

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