Barbara gets secret plastic surgery in Switzerland in an attempt to save her marriage to Mark, but he doesn't seem interested in meeting her. She checks in to a ski resort to wait for Mark,... See full summary »
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The venomous and amoral wife of a wealthy architect tries, any way she can, to break up the blossoming romance between her husband and his new mistress; a good-natured young widow who holds a dark past.
Brian G. Hutton
Twenty-something Laura Reynolds is a free spirit who questions social conventions, laws and regulations. A struggling artist, she lives in a secluded beach-side cabin in Big Sur with her nine year old illegitimate son, Danny, on who she has instilled her values. Because of this questioning of convention, Laura has decided to home school Danny. Also because of this questioning of the law, Danny runs into some legal problems, and as such is court ordered to be sent to San Simeon, a Christian school in Monterey. This order is against Laura's wishes. The school's headmaster is Dr. Rev. Edward Hewitt, who tries to convince Laura that San Simeon is not the prison she probably believes it to be. Married for twenty-one years to his faithful wife Claire, Edward has become more a fund-raiser at all cost (for a new chapel) rather than an educator or priest. Despite their differences, Laura and Edward begin to fall for each other. Both but especially Edward have to reconcile their feelings for ... Written by
"The Sandpiper" is not a great movie but it has a certain appeal and is graced by some beautiful seascapes along the rugged Big Sur coastline. The opening sequence, a montage of steep emerald hills and deep blue sea shot from a helicopter, is particularly well done, featuring a deer dashing up one of the oak-covered slopes, building swells breaking on the rocky shore, and one or two fiery red sunsets. Similar scenes continue to bolster the sense of setting throughout the movie. The storyline, although interesting, can't quite live up to the dramatic natural location. The love affair between Richard Burton, a jaded Episcopalian priest and headmaster at a boys school in San Simeon, and Elizabeth Taylor, an alienated artist seeking peace and solitude at an isolated beach house, is reasonably convincing. Yet the priest already has a comely wife in the form of Eva Marie Saint and his motivation for stepping outside their marriage isn't well explained, except that he wants to recapture the idealism of his youth. When a local judge orders that Taylor's troubled son must attend Burton's school, he is almost instantly attracted to her and apparently there is nothing to be done about it.
Set in the mid-sixties, when sexual morays were loosening but we were still in the grip of a churchy moralism, this had to be a controversial film, and I vaguely recall that it was. You can visit the locations used in the movie because some are easily recognizable, such as the store/club/restaurant in Big Sur known as "Nepenthe." And of course, there are the famous stone bridges on Highway One spanning two or three of the rugged chasms. Coursing through the movie, especially during the several seascapes, is the theme "The Shadow of Your Smile." It's a nice movie, if not a great one, and worth seeing more than once.
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