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Another cinematic weakness of mine has been the filming of Edna Ferber's stories. Here work adapts so well to the cinema I think it's impossible to make a bad movie of her work.
Ice Palace is always given short shrift when it is viewed in comparison to Showboat, Cimarron, and most importantly Giant. Actually it is Giant that Ice Palace seems to have the most in common with. Two men grow wealthier during the history of the area's growth and are changed by their love for the same woman. Carolyn Jones had quite an effect on the two men panting after her, the same as Elizabeth Taylor did to Rock Hudson and James Dean.
I viewed Ice Palace again after seeing it many years ago and it is as good as I remembered it the first time. Two fine portrayals of rival empire builders are given by Richard Burton and Robert Ryan. You can feel the hatred they have for each other come crackling right out of the TV screen as on the big screen. Carolyn Jones as she ages from comely young Scotch lassie to matronly spinster because she won't commit to either man, makes you forget her as Morticia Adams.
If Ice Palace has a weakness it's in the direction. I think if George Stevens had done this one it would have been a cinema classic like Giant is. Still Ice Palace is a fine film that is often overlooked in retrospectives of either Richard Burton or Robert Ryan.
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