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 »
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 past adultery, and assigning his employees journalistic jobs for which they have little aptitude or interest. Shrike goads Adam into meeting one of his correspondents, Fay Doyle, a teary, self-pitying woman who makes a play for him. Adam is torn between his loyalty to the newspaper and his girl Justy. Written by
Interesting but depressing...sad to see Montgomery Clift's frailty...
LONELYHEARTS is the story of a "Dear Abby" sort of columnist, unwillingly assigned to the job of helping the helpless losers who write to him (MONTGOMERY CLIFT) by a cynical newspaper editor (ROBERT RYAN). Ryan is so despicable that you have to wonder if he patented these roles during the heyday of his career. Clift looks alarmingly frail and disconcerted, his posture like a question mark, his face obviously given careful cosmetic treatment after an accident that almost took his life.
He's also distracting to watch as he plays the vulnerable man with so much obvious pity for his character. DOLORES HART is the loyal girlfriend who almost walks out on him when things get too rough and she misunderstands a crucial situation.
MYRNA LOY has a rather peripheral role as Ryan's long suffering wife who sits on the sidelines and murmurs disapproval of his tactics and tearfully gazes at the distraught Clift. MAUREEN STAPLETON has a pivotal supporting role (in her film debut), as a woman unhappily married to a cripple and badly in need of advice for the lovelorn. She's excellent.
It works, up to a point, but seems more a dated curiosity piece than anything else. Taken from a Nathaniel West novel and a play, it suffers from too many speeches from Robert Ryan as he preaches his cynical hatred for mankind in a pretentious style similar to Ayn Rand's characters. Ultimately, the verdict has to be interesting but depressing.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?