The 89th Academy Awards telecast airs at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PST, Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Join us for the first IMDb LIVE Viewing Party, a companion show that includes celebrity insight, real-time IMDb data, and more.
A young writer goes to Wiesbaden to write about gambling and gamblers, only to ultimately become a compulsive gambler himself. Losing all his wealth, as well as his moral fibre, he commits ... See full summary »
Roistering sea captain Jonathan Clark, who poaches seal pelts from Russian Alaska, meets and woos Russian countess Marina in 1850 San Francisco. Events separate them, but after an exciting ... See full summary »
Mary Rafferty comes from a poor family of steel mill workers in 19th Century Pittsburgh. Her family objects when she goes to work as a maid for the wealthy Scott family which controls the ... See full summary »
Toward the end of his life F. Scott Fitzgerald is writing for Hollywood studios to be able to afford the cost of an asylum for his wife. He is also struggling against alcoholism. Into his life comes the famous gossip columnist.
A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a ... See full summary »
John M. Stahl
As writer Harry Street lays gravely wounded from an African hunting accident he feverishly reflects on what he perceives as his failures at love and writing. Through his delirium he recalls his one true love Cynthia Green who he lost by his obsession for roaming the world in search of stories for his novels. Though she is dead Cynthia continues to haunt Street's thoughts. In spite of one successful novel after another, Street feels he has compromised his talent to ensure the success of his books, making him a failure in his eyes. His neglected wife Helen tends to his wounds, listens to his ranting, endures his talk of lost loves, and tries to restore in him the will to fight his illness until help arrives. Her devotion to him makes him finally realize that he is not a failure. With his realization of a chance for love and happiness with Helen, he regains his will to live. Written by
E.W. DesMarais <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ernest Hemingway disliked the film because he thought it cannibalized material from his other work to pad the story. He told friend Ava Gardner that the only things he liked about it were her and the hyena. It has been reported, but not confirmed, that director Henry King mimicked the hyena on the soundtrack. See more »
Outside the Hotel Florinda in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), a 1948-1950 Ford truck is parked facing the camera. See more »
And there was never another time like that first time in Africa.
See more »
So-so film that is never as complex or as tragic as it should have been and is a lot less interesting for it
Having saved a young man from a hippo, writer Harry Street lies dying from an infection in his African safari campsite. As his unappreciated wife Helen tends to his wounds and ensures him everything will be alright, Harry sinks into feverish reminiscing about a life that he perceives as being a failure in terms of both writing and his love life. He recalls the one woman that he believes he truly loved which, helpfully for Helen, isn't his current wife but a woman called Cynthia Green whom he met in Paris. The more he recalls the deeper his depression and the more Helen watches him surrendering his fight and will to live.
Taking a "deathbed" flashback structure we always know that things between Harry and his other loves didn't work out and the only question is "why". On paper we are meant to be with a bitter angry man who is facing death with a superficial devil-may-care attitude but underneath carries a deep sense of regret. The first problem I encountered with the film was that the script didn't carry this off very well at all and I wasn't convinced about the supposed years of failure that are stacked on top of Harry people with such things have much more baggage than came out here. The flashbacks are reasonable interesting but are closer to melodrama than a searing tale of regret and loss, which personally I thought it should have been. The film does flit around the world which must have been a selling point for it at the time of release but it doesn't actually add much to the story or characters other than providing a different background for some scenes.
King's direction is fairly workmanlike; he enjoys the locations but the mix of his footage with stock footage doesn't sit well together I know it is a limitation of the period but it still doesn't work. Peck is solid enough in the lead but he does the superficial things and doesn't get to grips with anything deeper or more complex. He gets no help from Hayward who is watching her husband long for women past but never appears to have any problem with this whatsoever. Gardner is pretty but again she doesn't convince in her character when asked to do anything more (seeing her in the middle of the Spanish civil war was pretty funny as well). Support from Leo G Carroll is always welcome but he doesn't have much to work with here.
Overall this is a so-so film that never fulfils its potential or is as engaging as it should have been. Instead of being complex and full of pain it is melodramatic and soapy; instead of being about the tragic souls of the characters it seems to have as much interest in stock footage and global locations. The cast give solid but superficial performances in response to this and the film never really gets a handle on any of it.
20 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?