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A Place in the Sun (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 11 October 1951 (France)
A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.



(novel), (play) | 2 more credits »

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Won 6 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hannah Eastman
Earl Eastman
Dist. Atty. R. Frank Marlowe
Louise Eastman
Art Jansen - George's Attorney
Judge R.S. Oldendorff
Lois Chartrand ...


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love that paid the severest of all penalties! See more »


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 October 1951 (France)  »

Also Known As:

An American Tragedy  »


Box Office


$2,295,304 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Charles Chaplin considered this "the greatest movie ever made about America". See more »


At Loon Lake, when George and Angela5 hear a loon, they look up into some trees to see the bird. Loons are never found in trees. They nest on the ground near lakes and live on the water. They are solely aquatic birds, waterfowl. See more »


Angela: Goodbye, George.
[half-turns away and then looks back]
Angela: Seems like we always spend the best part of our time just saying goodbye.
See more »


Version of Americká tragédia (1976) See more »


Alma Mater
Music by Franz Waxman
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Cinematic joy.
8 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

George Eastman takes up friendly offer from his uncle to go work in the highly prosperous Eastman bathing-suit factory. Formerly a bell hop at a hotel, and born out of a relatively poor, but religiously devout home, George is spellbound by how the upper crust live. As he starts to climb the social ladder he becomes besotted with his cousin's beautiful partner, Angela Vickers. While at the same time neglecting his girlfriend and mother of his unborn child, Alice Tripp. The outcome of George's confused emotions will have devastating effects on everyone involved...

A Place In The Sun is one of those revered, yet seemingly divisive classic pictures that I believe deserves every bit of praise heaped upon it. Based on the Theodore Dreiser novel, An American Tragedy {and the Patrick Kearney play}, it's a slow simmering piece that boasts technical greatness and a class division script that is intriguingly shrouded by a real life sad story. The book and subsequent film versions {Josef von Sternberg filmed an adaptation in 1931} are working from the real case of Chester Gillette and his girlfriend, Grace Brown. To expand further would result in major spoilers but it's a case that is readily available to anyone with internet access. Here with this adaptation, director George Stevens {sublime direction} has gathered all the things available to him and crafted a Gothic, almost dreamy, classic amongst classics. The source, and Sternberg's take on the novel may well be more stark and grimly oppressive, but this has such high cinema values it positively begs you to invest your very being with it.

The story behind the scenes is itself worthy of a movie, Stevens clashing constantly with Montgomery Clift {Eastman} and Shelley Winters {Tripp}, Clift because he would only take motivation from his personal coach, Mira Rostova, and Winters because Stevens had never wanted her cast in the first place! Then there is the Elizabeth Taylor {Angela Vickers} factor, blissfully unaware of Clift's burgeoning homosexuality, she reciprocated Clift's adoration of her by falling for him big time, the results, all captured by Stevens, are akin to being put under a spell that you simply can't turn away from. Montgomery Clift was one of the best actors of his generation, here in spite of a secretly confused emotional state, the sparks that ping off Taylor and himself are the kind that few lauded chemistry couples in movie history have ever gotten close too. Monty Clift is worth every penny or cent that is spent to watch him perform, here is yet another performance of emotional oomph to only confirm his standing as a true giant of American actors.

Academy Awards went to Best Director, Best Screenplay {Michael Wilson & Harry Brown}, Best Cinematography {William Mellor}, Best Costume Design {Edith Head}, Best Editing {William Hornbeck} and Best Score {Franx Waxman}, all of them deserved, with Waxman's score one of the true greats of 50s cinema, a character in itself and something to totally lose yourself in. Clift & Winters were both nominated in the Best actor/Actress categories respectively, and really in any other year they surely would have won, while the film itself was also nominated for Best Film. Ultimately it's the story itself that makes A Place In The Sun such a beguiling viewing, it's love divided by classes, no middle ground here, it's the rich and beautiful on one side, on the other is the plain and poor, the result is a majestic piece of cinema. 10/10

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