Helen Lester is in love with a man she has known just 24 hours, a playboy who spent time in jail for passing bad checks. Though the man has promised to change, most of her straitlaced ...
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Helen Lester is in love with a man she has known just 24 hours, a playboy who spent time in jail for passing bad checks. Though the man has promised to change, most of her straitlaced relatives are up in arms. But Clare Lester, Helen's grandmother, says the girl is free to join the man she loves. On one condition, that she listen to the story of a day in Clare's own life and of a man she tried to change. Written by
A 1961 black and white film made for television and poorly and unfairly received, this work is based upon a novella by Stefan Zweig, and provides an interesting story, told in spare and elegant fashion and, typically for the Austrian writer: in flashback, of a middle-aged woman who is persuaded by her family to travel through Europe as a means of overcoming longstanding grief at the death of her husband, to whom she was married for 17 years. While in Monte Carlo, the woman (Ingrid Bergman) meets with a family friend, played tastefully by John Williams, who escorts her to a casino where her path crosses that of a young gambler (Rip Torn), a depressive with the customary problem of wagerers, that of having lost everything, and she and the young man become entangled in a brief relationship that will mark the woman for the remainder of her life. The scenario, by novelist John Mortimer, is a faithful transcription of the original, with a challenging part for Bergman, and the only real weakness of the production is a tendency of Method-trained Torn to attack and hurry his lines; the score by John Kleinsinger is appropriately romantic and the ending, with the woman now old and recalling the events of the narrative, is strikingly subtle.
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