2 September 2020
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Contract player and not-quite star Debra Paget is the subject of one of Mark Rappaport’s most focused and sustained examinations of the byways of classical Hollywood cinema. Starting with the question, “Why Debra Paget, you ask?”, it seizes upon Paget as an example of the many minor or jobbing studio actors who populated the “exotic” terrain of ’40s and ’50s cinema. Appearing in a range of roles from Robert Siodmak’s Cry of the City (1948) and Jacques Tourneur’s Anne of the Indies (1951) to Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956) and Fritz Lang’s The Tiger of Eschnapur (1959) and The Indian Tomb (1959), Paget emerges as a multi-talented and engaging performer who fell between the cracks of the star machine.