Mary Rafferty comes from a poor family of steel mill workers in 19th Century Pittsburgh. Her family objects when she goes to work as a maid for the wealthy Scott family which controls the ... See full summary »
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Mary Rafferty comes from a poor family of steel mill workers in 19th Century Pittsburgh. Her family objects when she goes to work as a maid for the wealthy Scott family which controls the mill. Mary catches the attention of handsome scion Paul Scott, but their romance is complicated by Paul's engagement to someone else and a bitter strike among the mill workers. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[Mary is upset over her father's stubbornness and begins crying. Paul leads her to a bluff overlooking Pittsburgh's steel mills]
You can see all of Pittsburgh from here, but Pittsburgh can't see you. Why don't you sit down and cry it out?
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An Irish Lass's Love Affair With A Wealthy Family . . .
In Pittsburgh in 1873, plucky Irish immigrant Greer Garson accepts a position as a servant in the mansion of steel magnate Donald Crisp, though her father was crippled in his mill. Inevitably, Greer and Gregory Peck (as the principled second son of the family) find themselves drawn to each other despite class differences, and surprisingly, his parents spprove. But a series of dramatic events -- a steelworkers' strike, three violent killings, a spite marriage, a natural death and a surprising bequest -- all conspire to keep Greer and Greg apart while the audience is left to wonder when and how they can get together.
In a way we don't care since these mismatched stars have no chemistry together. In only his third screen role, Gregory Peck is always competent and is sometimes better than that, but his cool, placid demeanor works against this tale of romance thwarted for over a decade. For her part, Greer Garson was never one to suggest sexual attraction or romantic passion, and she has the further handicap of looking much older than Peck and seeming too old to play her character in the early parts of the film. But by the end, when her character's age has caught up to her, Garson's usual poise and authority seem just right.
If the lack of fireworks between the stars seems like a drawback, it somehow isn't because the narrative is really about the love affair an unhappy woman has with a warm, charismatic family. And here, the producer and the director Tay Garnett make sure the film is enlivened with a talented and varied supporting cast including Donald Crisp, Gladys Cooper, Lionel Barrymore (a hambone as usual), Dan Duryea, Preston Foster, Reginald Owen, Marshall Thompson and young Dean Stockwell.
Of particular interest are two excellent supporting performances. MGM stalwart Marsha Hunt brings some bite and complexity to the role of Peck's sister, a selfish, superficial woman who is nevertheless decent and loving. And though Jessica Tandy spends most of the film in a thankless role as a brittle society girl hoping to snag Peck, by the end of the film she is allowed to give a vivid performance of bravura shrewishness, the kind of thing Agnes Moorehead usually did so well.
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