Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
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Peter van Eyck,
The bitter and cynical Mae Doyle returns to the fishing village where she was raised after deceptive loves and life in New York. She meets her brother, the fisherman Joe Doyle, and he lodges her in his home. Mae is courted by Jerry D'Amato, a good and naive man that owns the boat where Joe works, and he introduces his brutal friend Earl Pfeiffer, who works as theater's projectionist and is cheated by his wife. She does not like Earl and his jokes, but Jerry considers him his friend and they frequently see each other. Mae decides to accept the proposal of Jerry and they get married and one year later they have a baby girl. When the wife of Earl leaves him, he becomes depressed and Mae, who is bored with her loveless marriage, has an affair with him. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This was Barbara Stanwyck's first movie as a single woman, which also featured the rising young star Marilyn Monroe. Barbara gave a good performance in one of her most memorable films. Despite her emotional devastation, the crew noted Barbara's lack of a diva tantrum, Fritz Lang later said, "She's fantastic, unbelievable, and I liked her tremendously. When Marilyn missed her lines---which she did constantly---Barbara never said a word." See more »
Love is rotten when it happens like this - the hard way. But we want each other, this is the fire we have to walk through, because this is forever, Mae.
Mae Doyle D'Amato:
Or until he sticks a knife in me, or you walk out.
Mae Doyle D'Amato:
How could I walk out?
And do the next thing, get away from here. If you have a dream, live it. If you have a hope, chase it.
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This Fritz Lang film has been largely ignored though in it's way it is as psychologically astute as many of his better known works such as "Scarlett Street". In transposing a Clifford Odets play from New York to a Californian fishing community some of the more florid dialogue seems unnaturally heightened but the performances of the three principals (Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan and particularly Paul Douglas) are stunning and the emotional core of the film is so strong that an audience can feel bruised by what's on screen. The blue collar milieu is perfectly evoked, the black-and-white cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca is first-rate and even the score seems understated, adding to, rather than detracting from the dramatic effect. Essential viewing.
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