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William A. Seiter
Each of the three leads had previously collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock. Ray Milland starred in Dial M for Murder (1954), Joan Fontaine starred in Rebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941) and Teresa Wright starred in Shadow of a Doubt (1943). See more »
This Paramount 1952 release came on unexpectedly since it is not often seen. The main interest was the three principals, under the direction of George Stevens, whose body of work speak by itself. Even with a screenplay that is somewhat dated, the film kept out attention from the start.
Jenny Carey, an actress whose stage fright contributes to her alcoholism, meets and falls for Alan Miller, himself a recovering alcoholic. The problem is that Alan is married; he is a decent man who realizes the danger of falling too deep for Jenny. Even if they feel deeply about one another, the stigma of their love for the bottle keeps them grounded. Alan is married to Edna, a decent lady who understands the struggle her husband faces on a daily basis, but never suspects him of seeing another woman. That is, until Edna meets Jenny at a party. Edna, who is expecting a third child, senses something is wrong, but she has no basis for doubting Alan.
The pairing of Joan Fontaine and Ray Milland pays off in unexpected ways. Ms. Fontaine and Mr. Milland were at interesting points of their careers. Both are perfect with their take on the two doomed lovers who understood their would be relation was doomed from the start. Although the characters are not strongly written, the two stars do wonders with their roles which speak volumes about the strong handling of the situation by Mr. Stevens. Teresa Wright who plays Edna, shows why she was always an asset in anything she appeared on the screen. Also, in a supporting role, Harry Bellaver, a veteran actor who went to star in the television series "Naked City", one of the best things of that early period of that medium.
"Something to Live For" is worth a look if it ever shown on cable.
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