We didn't nail all of the subsequent rounds as they played out...the Twitter following for Noir Alley had a few more hiccups in their voting, such as selecting Vince Stone (Lee Marvin) from THE BIG HEAT over Mr. Brown (Richard Conte) from THE BIG COMBO, but the final ultimately pitted giggling hooligan Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark) against Babs and her slightly frightening wig. It was no contest--a 70/30 rout for the gal with a "honey of an anklet."
But would that have been the case if the masterminds behind the seeding had thought to separate the women from each other? After all, in the age of #metoo, it is arguably more sporting to let the women compete directly against the men. If such a policy had been followed, it's likely that the early upset in the "tournament"--the ousting of Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer) by Veda Pierce (Ann Blyth) would not have happened. This narrow (52-48) upset win by Veda (arguably the first "bad seed" gal to appear in a Hollywood movie, about a dozen years ahead of Patty McCormack) haunted the subsequent action, and might have prevented an all-female showdown in the finals.
For those without Twitter (that's you, too, Donald Trump!) here are the results as they played out in the rounds:
J.J. Hunsecker (Sweet Smell of Success) over Waldo Lydecker (Laura) 57.0/43.0 (840)
Veda Pierce over Kathie Moffat 51.9/48.1 (904)
Phyllis Dietrichson over Cora Smith 84.2/15.8 (1038)
Tommy Udo over Johnny Rocco 57.6/42.4 (1026)
Harry Powell (Night of the Hunter) over Hans Beckert (Lang's M) 71.9/28.1 (634)
Kasper Gutman over Johnny Prince (Scarlet Street) 66.8/33.2 (635)
Vera (Detour) over Annie Laurie Starr (Gun Crazy) 63.5/36.5 (925)
Vince Stone over Mr. Brown 77.3/22.7 (534)
Phyllis over J.J. 71.9/28.1 (663)
Tommy over Veda 64.3/35.7 (695)
Harry over Vera 56.1/43.9 (652)
Fat Man over Mr. Coffee 52.4/47.6 (779)
Phyllis over Harry 61.9/38.1 (884)
Tommy over Gutman 62.1/37.9 (638)
Phyllis over Tommy 69.4/30.6 (806)
Numbers in (parentheses) are the number of votes cast for each poll.
Our guess is that if Kathie Moffat had been matched against Johnny Prince, she'd have advanced easily to the second round, and would've had momentum for another trip to Acapulco. Chances are high that Gutman would've emerged victorious over Veda Pierce; let's say that Kathie was then up against him. She has a good chance there, and will probably then be up against Tommy in the semi-finals. I think it would've been a much closer matchup, and (as always) it would have depended on the turnout. If someone had picked enough bodies out of the same river that Paul Valentine swan-dived into in one of the key scenes in OUT OF THE PAST, and Kathie had worked the phones, she might have pulled herself out of the gutter and into the finals...
...where she would've been flattened by Phyllis, sure--but probably by not as much as Tommy was. I figure 60/40 between the two deadliest ladies in noir. (Personally, I still think the nastiest lady in film noir is Andrea King, and the deadliest dame is Catherine Rouvel in CHAIR DE POULE, with Daniele Delorme from VOICI LE TEMPS DES ASSASSINS right on her heels, but those three formidable femmes will have to wait for Noir Alley to reboot this, if they ever do.) As we've all said at one time or another--and not really meaning it: "it was fun while it lasted."