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.
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John M. Stahl
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Tom Rath lives in Connecticut and commutes to work every day in Manhattan. He's happily married and has a loving wife and three children. Money is a bit tight and when the opportunity arises, he applies for a public relations job with a major television network. During his long commute to work everyday, Tom reminisces about the war. Although 10 years have gone by, he is still haunted by the violence and the men he killed. He also thinks of Maria, an Italian girl with whom he had an affair while stationed in Rome. At his new job, the head of the network Ralph Hopkins takes an immediate liking to him. Tom soon realizes that he will have to choose between becoming a wholly dedicated company man or maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When he learns that Maria gave birth to his son after he left Italy, he decides to let his wife know and ensure that the boy is cared for. Written by
In the film, Tom Rath and his paratroopers belong to the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion, which actually saw combat in Italy during World War II. In reality (unlike the film), the 509th did not get sent to the Pacific Theater to fight the Japanese (or make a combat jump there) after the battalion's tour in Italy was over. See more »
A salient commentary on the American executive lifestyle
I was pleased to get a chance to see this movie -- at least half of it -- during a bout of insomnia. The title was a catchphrase for corporate America for many, many years, a kind of symbol for overachieving, aggressive, ambitious businessmen without principles -- in other words, the "suits."
Though I am generally wary of Gregory Peck's (and Jennifer Jones') tendency to niceness, I was impressed by their work here. Their relationship was both substantial and subtle. Jennifer Jones had much much more humanity and integrity than the average housewife portrayed in other films of the 50s and 60s. Peck's character respected her opinions and values.
But I was knocked out by Fredric March. His type A, workaholic executive was touching on many levels. His utter tiredness, alcoholic puffiness, and innate sadness was plastered over with a Willy Loman-like veneer of gung-ho, jolly-good-fellow false heartiness. How familiar that character was and is -- in real life. His ambition, greed and drive had become a habit, and like any junky, he was simply unable to quit. Despite the human losses. I will never forget the scene in his office, when his wife calls him up, and he slowly hangs up the phone.
A very fine film, with many truths about our national character and obsessions....
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