What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1963) – (short film)

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by Afra Nariman

What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1963)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Sarah Braveman, Zeph Michelis, Fred Sica, Mimi Stark


“Life is fraught with peril.”

These final words, presented here as a moment of realization, and an acceptance of this notion as a natural element of life; perfectly coincides with what Scorsese would go on to illustrate in his career works.

Although this idea isn’t quite fleshed out completely in this film — as the film is mostly an exercise in Scorsese’s masterful grasp of the cinematic form and creative storytelling early on — the protagonist’s obsession with a material object (the picture), which causes him and those around him to suffer, is symbolically reminiscent of the obsessions which lead to the downfalls of characters in Scorsese’s later works (i.e.: Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street, etc…). 

Here, Scorsese accepts the fact that life is fraught with peril, and for decades he will go on to depict the world as such a place where this fact is naturally embedded into the lives of the people whose stories he tells.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

View this Review on Letterboxd: https://boxd.it/3h1T4B

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