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 ...
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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 Berry-Berry is listening to the radio at his workplace the announcer states "KWFJ" as the call-letters of the radio station. With the exception of KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA, the call-letters of all radio and TV stations east of the Mississippi River begin with "W". See more »
[Berry-Berry has gotten himself in trouble again, requiring yet another effort on Ralph's part to wire him "rescue" money]
Yeah, that knucklehead's got it in his head that Western Union is some sort of bank. I'll tell you what he's good at: he's a colossal expert at getting money outta' Western Union. You know what he went and did?
He didn't tell ya', huh?... You know who he took a poke at? A woman! He don't fool around, that big gorilla, no sirree. Some dame says something he don't like... ...
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Many of the earlier posts on this film mirror my overall impressions as well. I caught this on TCM a few weeks ago and I was compelled to keep watching despite some flaws and very awkward scenes. This film has that distinctive early 60's feel to it and also is lacking certain elements of specificity in its storytelling and character development. The Willart family is dysfunctional but we are not able to put our finger on the dynamics of exactly why. We know the father, Karl Malden, is an alcoholic, yet a noticeably genial and upbeat one. We know the mother, Angela Lansbury, seems perpetually stressed and perhaps emotionally isolated, but the dialogue between the two never gets to the heart of their unhappiness. The late Brandon de Wilde (who died in 1972 in an auto accident) is the younger of two brothers through whose perspective the story is told. He is an aspiring writer who spies and eavesdrops on his parents' conversations and records what he hears in a journal. I thought his overall performance was very effective and believable. A young Warren Beatty in one of his first major roles plays the older son, the wayward Berry-Berry. (His name is puzzling and one wonders why nobody thinks to call him Berry for short.) Eva Marie Saint plays a somewhat mysterious woman, Echo, who provides the basis of the storyline through her involvement with both brothers. I found it to be a flaw of the film, though a minor one, that we never know much about Echo....what her background is, how she came to be close friends with Mrs. Willart, what she does for a living, and why she is driving such an unusual car. An absorbing story once you get drawn into it, with several awkward scenes balanced out by several touching and poignant moments.
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