A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
The young and poor George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) leaves his religious mother and Chicago and arrives in California expecting to find a better job in the business of his wealthy uncle Charles Eastman. His cousin Earl Eastman advises him that there are many women in the factory and the basic rule is that he must not hang around with any of them. George meets the worker of the assembly line, Alice Tripp, in the movie theater and they date. Meanwhile, the outcast George is promoted and he meets the gorgeous Angela Vickers at a party thrown at his uncle's house. Angela introduces him to the local high society and they fall in love with each other. However, Alice is pregnant and she wants to get married with George. During a dinner party at Angela's lake house with parents, relatives, and friends, Alice calls George from the bus station and gives him thirty minutes to meet her; otherwise she will crash the party and tell what has happened. George is pressed by the situation which ends ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Shelley Winters was determined to be tested for the part of Alice. At the time she was being cultivated as a sex symbol, so the night before she was due to see George Stevens, she dyed her hair brown and bought some especially dowdy clothes, the kind she had seen when she had visited a factory to see how the girls who worked there dressed. She deliberately arrived at the meeting place early and sat in a corner. When Stevens came in, he didn't even notice her until he was about to leave, when he suddenly realized that the mousy girl in the corner was actually Shelley Winters. See more »
In the scene in prison when George is supposed to walk the last mile, the warden asks him to come out, and there is a long pause. There is someone walking by in the background who clearly begins walking in slow motion for the duration of the pause, then resumes normal speed. Clearly, the shot of the warden standing there was extended by putting the film in slow motion. See more »
Prisoner in George's cell block:
[Said to George as he walks to the electric chair]
Prisoner in George's cell block:
Good-bye, George. I'll be seeing you.
See more »
To Hell with the book! That's the old cliche about ANY movie...if you've read the author's version and have your own mind's eye scenario firmly in place, almost NO movie will ever compete. However, movies are made to bring the mass audience to a (sometimes) great literary work that would otherwise be relegated to obscurity. "Loved the book...hated the movie...yadda, yadda, yadda". In any case, George Stevens' adaptation of this novel is a magnificent piece of filmmaking. The sheer "beauty" of Clift and Taylor in their prime, doomed to an unachievable fruition of their romance due to the difference in "class" and Clift's apparently deliberate failure to save the life of his frumpy little girlfriend (Shelley Winters in a thankless role)is heartwrenching.....star-crossed lovers in the Romeo and Juliet vein. The sub-title of the book "An American Tragedy" is certainly appropriate. I agree the movie takes a rather LONG time to get to it's denoument, and Raymond Burr is WAY over the top as the film-ending prosecutor. However, you will NEVER see two young actors as tragic and beautiful as Montgomery and Elizabeth...when she says "Tell mamma...tell momma all" and Monty clutches her towards him and almost brutally clamps a big kiss while the camera circles...oh my!! Of course, the REAL tragedy was that, off screen, Elizabeth was MAD for Monty and was even prepared to put up with his bisexuality. Wouldn't they have made a great looking couple at film openings, the Oscars, etc.? But I digress...the stark black and white photography, great background music and fabulous acting (particularly by the stage-trained and film-cautious Monty in a fish-out-of-water role)adds up to a memorable viewing experience. If this one doesn't tear your heart out, you HAVE no heart!!!
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