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
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
A rich, young beauty, Louise Durant, follows the man she loves and hopes to marry to Zurich where he studies violin at the conservatory. A piano student at the conservatory falls madly in ... 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 »
At the party celebrating Lincoln's election, a guest smears charcoal on some of his face. In the next shot, his face is almost entirely black. See more »
[to Flash, who is drinking beer in public]
Flash Perkins, don't you know that your body is the temple of the spirit, and you defile and pollute it with that Devil's brew you have there?
Orville 'Flash' Perkins:
Why, if you say so, pappy...
Why don't you come 'round to our next temperance rally. Come 'round and take the Total Abstinence Pledge.
Orville 'Flash' Perkins:
Why, pappy, I'll take that pledge right now.
Orville, we want men to take that pledge only when they're sober.
Orville 'Flash' Perkins:
But if they're sober, what's the point in havin' them ...
[...] See more »
A Beautiful Evocation of the North During the Civil War, and More
I discovered Ross Lockridge Jr.'s attempt at the Great American Novel when I first saw "Raintree County" the film in 1957. I was aware that the story that was put on the screen was not perfect, although it is a beautifully-made and often-interesting film; so I read the novel, to discover what had been omitted. Because I have become an expert on both the book and the film, I appreciate even more what is right about cinematic achievement and find myself more willing to ignore the story's flaws. First, consider the direction, a near-miracle of taste, shot composition, blocking and work with actors achieved by Edward Dmytryk. Art direction, lighting, set design, Walter Plunkett's costumes, the low-key music by Johnny Greene, the theme song, the dialogue by Millard Kaufman, and some of the acting rate with Hollywood's finest. In particular, Eva Marie Saint's work as Nell Gaither, Nigel Patrick as Professor Stiles, Walter Abel as T.D. and Lee Marvin as Flash Perkins deserved Oscar nominations. The smaller parts in the film, from James Griffiths to De Forest Kelley to Tom Drake are all well-nigh flawless. And the memorable scenes such as the Southern ball, the visit to a bordello, the great July Fourth race, Johnny's misadventure in the swamp, the scenes on the Academy lawn, the handling of Johnny Shawnessey's house in Freehaven, Indiana, the war scenes, the great rally in 1860, Rod Taylor's office as Garwood Jones in Indianapolis, all are very well mounted. The flaw in the script, which has a story much-altered from the novel that has one philosophical error also (the author cannot accept American individualism as being not social but reality-based) was confirmed for me by Eva Marie Saint. In 1966, I complimented her acting then asked if the story might not have been handled more strongly, to reflect the novel. Sadly, she noted, "Oh no--they GAVE the picture to ELIZABETH!". A multi-million-dollar film had been made to wangle an undeserved nomination for an Academy Award for Elizabeth Taylor, who tries hard but lacks the classical dimension. But, there is a way to enjoy this superbly-made film that renders the problem of Johnny Shawnessey's obsession with the Taylor character smaller: watch it in 'thirds'. The film then becomes Young John Shawnessey; Johnny and Susannah Drake; Aftermath. It was shown this way on a Los Angeles TV station once, and the structure became much more evident. As the central character, Montgomery Clift starts well but the accident he had during the film and his miscasting vitiate some later work; he gets by with most of his very-demanding role, however, and his work in the last third of the film has some real power. I would not have missed this film for anything; it has been part of my life for fifty years; why not make its power, haunting successful scenes and many lovely attainments a part of yours also.
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