Judge Cass Timberlane marries a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Virginia Marshland. A baby is stillborn and she turns more and more to attorney friend of of Cass' Brad Criley. While...
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Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »
Judge Cass Timberlane marries a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Virginia Marshland. A baby is stillborn and she turns more and more to attorney friend of of Cass' Brad Criley. While quarreling the Judge tells Virginia to stay with Brad, but when she becomes sick he brings her home. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's been many years since I read the Sinclair Lewis novel. I could be wrong, but I seem to remember some interesting observations about a middle-aged, upper-middle class man, confronting a woman of a younger generation and a different social and economic class, in the 1940's.
In that rapidly changing world, she's more liberated, more independent than the girls he grew up with. There's a generation gap between men of Cass's era and young women like Jinny, in the postwar world. It's a reflection of the way the country had changed, over the course of a few decades.
Obviously, if they had gotten any of this into the film, it would have been far more interesting than the soap opera that emerged. Jinny just seems to be bored and restless because she's immature and shallow, and Cass just seems to lack understanding of her predicament because he's older and set in his ways.
Still, Cass Timberlane, as one of MGM's superior factory products, can almost be enjoyed for the production values alone: gorgeous black and white cinematography, stunning women's costumes, detailed sets, nice use of locations, expert use of rear projection (lush, atmospheric shots of Scott and Turner on a NYC penthouse terrace), etc. As good a film as money can buy. And as good a cast.
Was Lana Turner a good actress? I don't know - but I like watching her. Not just because she's pretty (and here, she's very pretty) - she's also extremely charming - especially in the early scenes - and there really is a good deal of chemistry between her and Spencer Tracy. (Jennifer Jones, first choice for the part, turned it down).
Tracy is of course, excellent. And immensely likable. The romance between them is always believable, because he is such a charismatic, charming, somewhat devilish, interesting, intelligent, and apparently loving person, how could she not love him? And she is so beautiful, delightful, and seemingly sensible, how could he not fall head over heels for her? Both seem like down-to-earth people, so it's not hard to understand how they relate to one another. And also why they clash.
George Sidney - who usually directed fluff like "Holiday In Mexico", and "Anchors Aweigh", tries his hand at something serious, here, and while I don't know why he got this big project that probably should have gone to Clarence Brown, or Cukor, he does a pretty good job. Just scratches the dramatic surface, though, unfortunately. He does better in the first hour, which, as usual, is the lighter half.
Later on, it just reads like magazine fiction.
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