An actress, a director, and a writer are asked to help revive the career of ruthless Hollywood studio bigwig Jonathan Shields. However, all three are reluctant because they have all been used and betrayed by him in the past.
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
Poor and uneducated George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) unwittingly sets a trap for himself when he takes an entry-level job at his rich uncle's factory, which has a prohibition on male employees dating female employees. He just can't resist one of the girls in his department, the pitiful and whiny Alice Tripp (wonderfully played by Shelley Winters). Eventually, George gets a promotion and is invited into the upper echelon of his uncle's social world, where he meets wealthy and beautiful Angela Vickers (a breathless Elizabeth Taylor). Naturally, he falls in love with Angela. But a complication with Alice leaves him unable to break off his relationship with her.
That's the setup for this George Stevens-directed film that plays rather like a modern Greek tragedy. Everything about "A Place In The Sun" is high quality: the production design, the lavish Edith Head costumes, the wonderful editing, and that great B&W cinematography with those marvelous close-up shots, and overlapping dissolves that cleverly advance the plot.
All three principal actors do a splendid job. And they get solid support from a top notch secondary cast that includes Raymond Burr and the interesting Anne Revere.
The story clearly plays up social class differences, with the haughty rich looking down their noses at common workers. The film's tone varies from romantic, to sad, to suspenseful. At mysterious Loon Lake where significant events occur, the cinematic atmosphere is heavy with anticipation. It's like something out of a Hitchcock thriller.
I've never cared much for sad love stories, and the film does seem a tad dated. Still, it's so well made it can be appreciated by most everyone but the terminally shallow. It has a powerful ending, one that accentuates the acting accomplishments of Clift and especially of Taylor. "A Place In The Sun" was nominated for nine academy awards, and winner of six. I'd say this is one time when Oscar voters got it right.
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