The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Montgomery Cliff (in his last role) plays James Bower, an American physicist visiting West Germany who's recruited by a shady CIA agent, named Adam, to help them with the defection of a ... See full summary »
The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and ... See full summary »
In 19th century England, captain George Brummell is an upper-class dandy. He has to leave the army after having insulted the crown prince. This gives him the opportunity to start a smear ... See full summary »
Eager to land a journalistic position, Adam White goes to work as an advice-giving newspaper columnist. His editor, Shrike, takes pleasure in browbeating his alcoholic wife Florence for her... See full summary »
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
After his car accident during shooting, there was some consideration given to recasting of Montgomery Clifts role. Production insurance would have covered the costs of re-shooting but Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson insisted that Clift be allowed to continue once he recovered for his injuries. See more »
After Lincoln wins the election, John and Nell say good night in front of John's house. The same wagon with the same people in it pass by them twice in the background. See more »
War is the most monstrous of man's illusions. Any idea worth anything is worth not fighting for.
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It takes forever for the Civil War to begin, but this expensive, massively scaled MGM adaptation and bowdlerization of Ross Lockridge's now-forgotten best seller is moderately entertaining. Elizabeth Taylor, stunning in lushly detailed period costumes, has some fine moments of hysteria, a good warm-up to the meatier roles she starred in the 60's. Montgomery Clift holds his own against the melodramatic machinations of the plot and, as always, he looks great paired with Taylor. Agnes Moorehead is miscast, as she so often was during her film career, but the rest of the players come through nicely.
The film lacks the detailed historical touches that enrich "Gone With the Wind", so which it has often been compared. There are a few howling anachronisms (the interiors, particularly, reflect 1950's Decorator Dreams of home decor) and, in the usual MGM style, everyone is ludicrously over-dressed. The outdoor location shooting is refreshing, however. The scene where Taylor and Clift visit the burned-out ruins of her childhood home is particularly striking (the actual ruins of Windsor, a Mississippi plantation house, where used for the shot).
Director Edward Dmytryk keeps things moving along, and the score by Johnny Green is a nice additon, though Johnny Mathis' title ballad is an odd disappointment.
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