Actually, she was an actress. I have heard and read about her but never saw her until I was Netflixing in boredom and decided to try a recommendation "99 River Street."
This is not the greatest script in the world. It's a B-film. But everyone in it does a great job and director Phil Karlson really creates a memorable film noir.
It stars John Payne (Natalie Wood's eventual step-dad in "Miracle on 34th Street"). He's a boxer who's banned from boxing (in New York) because he could go blind if his optic nerve is hurt in another fight. So he drives a cab and is with a woman who fell for him when he was a fighter.
The woman is very attractive and I thought this was Evelyn Keyes. It wasn't. It was Peggie Castle (also sometimes spelled Peggy Castle -- I thought she might be the wife of William Castle, she wasn't, so I looked her up). Peggy is great as Payne's wife who feels she didn't get what she was promised and she's tired of working and thinks her husband's dream of a gas station is not success but more waiting on other people.
She's having an affair with Brad Dexter. They've stolen gems from a man and they're leaving together. John Payne catches them kissing at her job. He's furious.
Evelyn Keyes? She plays actress Linda James who plays a trick on him. I'm sorry but that trick was the worst acting I ever saw. I almost stopped the film. I realized that she was a hack (the character) and kept streaming. She was revealed to be playing a trick.
Outside of that garbage, she was a very strong actress.
You notice that she's probably too good for film.
In the film, there are times when she comes off like "Dead Man Don't Wear Plaid." I love that Steve Martin film. It uses some scenes from old films to put Steve Martin in scenes with Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner, Veronica Lake, Fred McMurray and others.
Evelyn Keyes sometimes comes off added to the film. Like the scene where she's first in the moving cab with Payne after she tells him she's sorry for the prank and her eyes are all over.
She's probably too good for film because she's living the scene and not just when it's time for her close up.
I didn't think she was the most attractive in the film. That surprised me because people always go on in books about how gorgeous she was. Peggy Castle was clearly the most beautiful.
But Keyes had energy and charisma.
The tacked on ending (not what takes place on the waterfront) is a little too pat for the film that came before but otherwise, this is a really great film.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"