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The awarded architect Larry Coe lives a boring marriage with his wife Eve Coe and their two young sons in the suburb. Larry is designing and constructing an unique house to the successful writer Roger Altar (Ernie Kovacs) on the top of a hill. Margaret 'Maggie' Gault is a sexy blond sexually neglected by her husband Ken Gault that lives in the same neighborhood and they have a young son. When Larry meets Maggie at the bus stop of the school bus, he unsuccessfully hits on her. But soon they encounter each other again and they have a love affair. They fall in love with each other, but when their despicable neighbor Felix Anders discovers their affair, they have to decide between loyalty and respect to their families or love. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Average Shot Length = ~10.3 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~9.5 seconds. See more »
When Larry is going in to grocery store he takes a cart and pushes it over to Felix But when he starts talking to Felix he has no cart and he does not retrieve it when he leaves Felix to enter store. See more »
I've seen much commentary depicting this film as little more than a soap. If the themes of marital infidelity and dissatisfaction are soap-operish, then I guess it is.
That said, I want to add that the subject matter is handled quite delicately and skillfully by all involved. Kirk Douglas is good as the architect who finds himself attracted to his new neighbor. He delivers the dialogue quite well, not falling into the easy trap of overacting. The only dissatisfaction may come with the Ernie Kovacs subplot, but that is so minor, it barely registers. More lasting are the scenes between Douglas and Kim Novak. One scene in particular, when they find themselves together at the beach discussing his wife, is particularly poignant.
The film belongs to Kim Novak, however, as the housewife who has the affair with Douglas. She is heart-breakingly good in this movie. Joshua Logan, director of "Picnic", once said that Novak wore her beauty like a 'crown of thorns' and that quality is on full display in SWWM. A natural desire for love and affection come through wonderfully, and her subtle style of acting is pitch perfect. Her best moment comes when she is talking to her husband - in effect trying to seduce him. The moment could come off hokey or overdone, but Novak doesn't miss a beat. She is neither crass nor coy. The desire is honest and heartfelt, and one senses real pain at her rejection.
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