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All Fall Down (1962)

Approved | | Drama | 4 September 1962 (West Germany)
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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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Echo O'Brien
...
...
...
Annabell Willart
...
Clinton Willart (as Brandon de Wilde)
...
Mrs. Mandel
...
Schoolteacher
Evans Evans ...
Hedy
Madame Spivy ...
Bouncer
Albert Paulsen ...
Captain Ramirez (as Albert Paulson)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Manager of Sweet Shop (scenes deleted)
Robert Sorrells ...
Waiter in Sweet Shop (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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 Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Male enough to attract a dozen women...not man enough to be faithful to one!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 September 1962 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A cada cual su propio infierno  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the two 1962's releases directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Angela Lansbury in a supporting role, with the other film being The Manchurian Candidate (1962). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Annabell Willart: [Clinton has given her a small Christmas gift] What are they?
Clinton Willart: Well, they're ballpoint pens.
Annabell Willart: [looks a little confused] You're giving me six ballpoint pens?
Clinton Willart: Mm-hmm. I sent away to the Disabled War Veterans for them. Each one's got your name on it, and I thought maybe you could use a different color for a different outfit.
Annabell Willart: Well, I declare. If you haven't got the biggest darn heart in the whole wide world.
Annabell Willart: [goes and hugs him] That's the most thoughtful thing I've ever got.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Unique Set of Characters
16 October 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

"All Fall Down" combines the best elements of "Come Back Little Sheba" and "Splendor in the Grass"; which should not be a total surprise given that all three come at least in part from the mind of William Inge. It is interesting that while "All Fall Town" is the most ambitious of the three, it is also the least known. Probably because Director John Frankenheimer made something that is more art film than box office blockbuster (or academy darling).

The storytelling technique is much like "Days of Heaven", both told from the point of view of the youngest member of their casts-in this case Clint (Brandon de Wilde-"come back Shane"). The film even goes so far as to cut in shots of Clint watching the other characters through windows and doorways, and then writing down what he has observed in a journal. This is very effective because the story has coming of age elements involving Clint and the viewer is meant to strongly identify with his character. Unfortunately Frankenheimer pulls his punch at the end and limits things to the traditional process of disillusionment found in this film genre. A much more satisfying ending was possible.

I've never shared the view that "All Fall Down" lacks sympathetic characters. Clint is certainly likable as is family friend Echo (Eva Marie Saint), and even father Ralph (Karl Malden) to a certain degree. Mother Annabell (Angela Lansbury) is not but her purpose is to provide some explanation for this dysfunctional family.

Older brother Berry-Berry (Warren Beatty) is not likable but is certainly interesting. Smothered by his mother he has a phobia about ending up like his parents. Which has sent him on the road where he lives by his wits and good looks. Beatty really doesn't seem to know how to play Berry-Berry and his performance is mostly a repeat of his "Splendor in the Grass" character. But the uncertainty in his performance ultimately works to his advantage, as Berry-Berry is a conflicted mess of mixed motivation. His behavior is compulsive and contradictory, a sociopath with a conscience. And he is concerned with the welfare of his little brother, who idolizes him (as do his parents).

Starting out in Key West, where Clint meets his brother's ex-girlfriend (played by Frankenheimer's real life wife Evans Evans) in a strip club. In a great scene she tries to get the underage Clint to buy her a drink-but her debilitated coughing spoils any superficial sex appeal.

The action soon shifts to an older middle class neighborhood in Cleveland. Beatty appears briefly in the beginning and is mostly unseen until after the midpoint of the film. De Wille has far more screen time and introduces us to the remaining three characters.

Saint's character is a spinsterish free spirit of 31 (another contradiction) who Clint falls in love with until his older brother claims her. Saint was always difficult to cast. Not earthy enough for the Julie Harris-Elizabeth Hartman type of roles and not sexy enough for the standard starlet stuff she was limited to icy librarians or dowdy girlfriend stuff until Hitchcock drew her out in "North by Northwest". She is physically perfect for the Echo O'Brien role, someone confident and playful, yet very fragile; pretty enough to make Berry-Berry's attraction credible.

This is a slick little film but only if you like productions that could easily transfer to the stage.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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