Ralph and Annabell Willart are a feuding couple who are constantly bickering over their worthless, good-for nothing son Berry-Berry. When Berry-Berry begins yet another meaningless love ... See full summary »
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Ralph and Annabell Willart are a feuding couple who are constantly bickering over their worthless, good-for nothing son Berry-Berry. When Berry-Berry begins yet another meaningless love affair, this time with an older woman named Echo O'Brien, he really gets his parents at each others' throats. Written by
Eva Marie Saint's character (Echo O'Brien) is the "old maid daughter" of the best friend of Angela Lansbury's character (Annabell Willart), when in fact Eva Marie Saint was a year older than Angela Lansbury. See more »
When Mrs. Mandel waves a $50 bill at Berry-Berry, the bill turns upside down between the long shot and the close-up. See more »
[Ralph and Clinton are barbequing, and drinking liquor. Annabell is not amused]
You don't have to go making HIM a drunkard, too, Ralph.
Whom are you calling a "drunkard," madame?
You never go anywhere without that bottle. You'd even take it to Church with you - if you ever WENT to Church.
If I ever went to Church, I'd HAVE to take it with me!
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I saw this one when it was first released, responding to some justly deserved positive reviews. Recently Turner Classic Movies showed it and my memories were confirmed: terrific cast beautifully responding to John Frankenheimer's astute direction; impeccable black-and-white cinematography by Lionel Lindon, especially that opening on-location sequence in Key West, Florida; one of Alex North's most apposite scores, not at all too florid (Was any Hollywood composer better at enhancing a story filled with neuroses in full bloom?); and a story whose downward spiral seems inevitable, despite some slight excesses on the part of the scriptwriter.
Minor reservations: Karl Malden's being required to vociferously refer to his son, Berry-Berry, as "The Big Rhinoceros" and as other assorted wildlife creatures (Why? Never really explained and seemingly inappropriate, given Warren Beatty's rather sleek appearance); the given names of the characters played by both Warren Beatty (Berry-Berry) and Eva Marie Saint (Echo O'Brien) - pure flights of fancy on the part of the writer(s), when compared to the more down-to-earth names given the other Midwesterners in the story; the frustration of seeing the doomed character, Echo, often expressing her affection for the younger brother, Clinton, while pathetically succumbing to the brutish abuse of his older brother, Berry-Berry.
But the interplay of all the cast (including some excellent supporting players) makes this somewhat forgotten gem a real must-see. It's one time when Angela Lansbury, running on all cylinders, is easily and compatibly matched by her fellow actors. This one's a keeper!
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