Charles returns to Paris to reminisce about the life he led in Paris after it was liberated. He worked on "Stars and Stripes" when he met Marion and Helen. He would marry and be happy ... See full summary »
A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
An abolitionist John Wickliff Shawnessy drifts away from his high school sweetheart Nell Gaither and enters into a passionate love affair with a wealthy New Orleans belle Susanna Drake but is tricked into marrying her when she falsely tells him that she is pregnant. But even after Susanna tells him the truth his still stays with her out of love. But John soon learns that Susanna is hiding a dark secret which leads her into madness. This madness causes Susanna to flee to the South during the Civil War taking their son with her. John leaves home and enlisting in the Northern Army as his only means to pursue Susanna. Written by
The first preview for this film was held January 24, 1957 at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, the film ran 3 hours and 6 minutes. On March 19, 1957 the New York Times reported that retakes would begin later that month so "that certain dramatic points will be emphasized by re-shooting in close-up and that extra footage will be added to achieve smoother transitions in the sprawling drama." When the film was ready for release two options were offered to exhibitors, either the 168 minute version as a two screenings a day feature or a continuous performance version that ran 151 minutes. See more »
After Lincoln's 1860 election, the crowd sings "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". However, Julia Ward Howe wrote the poem, on which the song was based, for the Atlantic Monthly in 1861. See more »
Prof. Jerusalem Webster Stiles:
[Referring to the fact that Mr. Gray, an old man, has managed to marry Lydia, a beautiful young woman]
How in the entire realm of plausibility did that chilly January win such a blithesome May?
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M-G-M assigned some pretty heavy-hitters to cobble together this almost indigestible attempt to tell a Civil War story without a producer like David O. Selznick to insist that the whole thing should somehow come together. Other comments on this site tell the sad story of miscasting, a seemingly unfocused script, apparently disinterested direction and the obvious tragedy of Montgomery Clift's catastrophic automobile accident during production and its effect on all the performances he was to give thereafter.
Elizabeth Taylor is about the only central player who emerges relatively unscathed and her Academy Award nomination was deserved (and certainly more worthy of the Oscar she did win for "BUtterfield 8".)
I bought reserved seat tickets for this before its initial engagement began and the reviewers' generally negative appraisals were available. M-G-M's new big screen process, MGM Camera 65 ("Window of the World" as they termed it, used only once again by the studio for "Ben-Hur"), afforded a handsome showcasing of all the expense lavished upon this production, but, even as a teenager, I squirmed in my seat as its oh-so-lengthy reels unspooled and I left the theater regretting that its makers hadn't somehow achieved something memorable for its quality and dramatic impact, rather than for its longueurs. Johnny Green's score (and Nat King Cole's rendition of the title song) did sound awfully good over the stereophonic sound system at that Beverly Hills, California theater and that's one aspect of this disappointment that is now probably lost forever.
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