The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
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The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Burton) offers the innocent orderly (... See full summary »
A law school graduate is hired by a top law firm but doesn't tell them about a problem he has--he's so allergic to alcohol that one whiff of it and he passes out like a light. Written by
Despite very good acting, a bizarre plot device sinks this one to mediocrity.
This movie is based on a very contrived plot device. Van Johnson plays a man who has a peculiar sort of reaction to alcohol--the type you'll only see in movies and I doubt if anyone on this planet does what his character did. While the IMDb summary says he passes out when he drinks, this is NOT the case. Instead, even the smallest taste of alcohol sends him into a fit where he behaves roaring drunk for several minutes--afterwords, he has no clear recollection of his behaviors. As I said, it's contrived--but also odd because the film really isn't exactly a comedy--in fact, much of it is VERY serious. In fact, with a subplot involving racism, the mix is uncomfortable and bizarre to say the least.
On the plus side, the film has very good acting. Van Johnson, despite the material, is excellent and he's given tons of support from the likes of Liz Taylor (who is at her radiant best), Leon Ames (whose speech at the end is terrific), Gene Lockhart (June's father) and Edgar Buchanan--among others. It is clearly filled with quality actors. It's just too bad that the script itself isn't high quality. In fact, it could clearly have used a re-write. It's a B-movie script with A-list actors and production values. Not a bad film but not at all a good one either.
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