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For two decades Doc and Lola Delaney avoided coming to terms with what Doc considered a "shot gun" marriage. Lola lost the baby and gives a lot of her affection to Sheba, a dog that disappeared a few months before the film opens. Doc blames Lola for having to drop out of medical school and not becoming a "real" doctor. Until joining AA a year ago, his escape was alcohol. Then college student Marie rents a room in their home. Doc feels passion for the first time in 20 years. But Marie has two suitors her age. Lola -- unaware of Doc's emotions --becomes as interested in Marie's future as if Marie were her daughter. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
Burt Lancaster actively campaigned to play the alcoholic husband in this film, even though he was much younger than the character, Doc, who was in his mid-fifties. Sidney Blackmer, who had played the part on Broadway in the original production, was 18 years older than Lancaster, and Shirley Booth was 15 years his senior. The role of Doc was coveted by Humphrey Bogart, who was the right age, but Bogart lost out to Lancaster due to studio politics, despite the fact that he had just turned in his Oscar-winning performance in The African Queen (1951). See more »
When Lola is talking to Doc in bed about Sheba's disappearance, her right arm alternately jumps from being under her head, near her right cheek and hanging off the side of the bed. See more »
This is an interesting study about the trials of people dealing with disappointment and alcoholism. Lost dreams have been Doc's excuse for turning to the bottle, and a lost little dog (Sheba) symbolizes his wife's search for herself.
The film based on the play is an early study of the pain of addiction. As Doc tells his wife, "Dreams are strange." There is redemption in the fact that Doc asks for forgiveness as his wife regains her sense of dignity.
Booth gives a very believable performance, and Lancaster is excellent playing a man far older than he was at the time. This is a touching, though simplistic, look at the dark side of human nature.
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