Brandon and Jessie Bourne have a long, apparently happy marriage. Several years earlier Brandon had had an affair with a younger woman, Isabel Lorrison, who's now returned to New York intending to re-kindle the relationship. Meanwhile, Jessie is attracted to Mark Dwyer, a former policeman-turned-writer just arrived from a secret mission in Italy.Written by
Last film for Gale Sondergaard for twenty years until Slaves (1969). She was blacklisted for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activites Committee. See more »
When Josephine enters Jessie's room when she's crying over reading the paper about the previous night's events, the interior door inexplicably has a deadbolt lock on it - but no corresponding plate or bolt are seen on the door's edge. This is a common shortcut of set carpenters. The same can be observed with Isabel's apartment door. See more »
Yes, this is my town. It's not new to you. You're read books about it. You've seen it in movies. People are always talking about New York. It's the most exciting city in the world, they say. The most glamorous, the most frightening and, above all, the fastest. You hear a great deal about the tempo of this city, it's speed, it's pace, it's driving heartbeat. Perhaps, it's true - for visitors. But, I was born here. I live here. And the only pace I know is the pace of my own life. The...
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Nothing new here, but professionalism of actors and director raise film above familiar material
A fairly standard-issue formula melodrama comes alive thanks to capable acting and adept direction. Sheer professionalism keeps the unremarkable story afloat, with all concerned more than equal to their assignments.
`East Side, West Side' is told from the point of view of a lady of leisure (Barbara Stanwyck) whose husband (James Mason) is a habitual adulterer. Despite his deep love for her, he is unable to resist temptation, comparing it to an alcoholic's need for the bottle. All his efforts to clean up his act are for naught, however, when former mistress Ava Gardner returns to town determined to win him back, and willing to stop at nothing to do so. Meanwhile, Stanwyck incurs the affections of a highly decorated police officer (Van Heflin), who shows her the other side of the tracks where he grew up, and is surprised to learn that she did too. Their relationship blossoms, but when Gardner turns up dead and Mason and Stanwyck are suspected, it falls to Heflin to sort things out.
There's nothing here that hasn't been done before, but it is handled with such style and finesse that it's impossible to dislike, and the story is surprisingly involving. Heflin is provided with a strong character and ample opportunities to showcase his acting capabilities. The roles filled by Stanwyck and Mason are more burdensome because they serve to drive the plot, but both actors tackle them skillfully. Gardner is given only a few scenes to establish and develop her character, but she nonetheless makes a strong impression. Veteran director Mervyn LeRoy knows just how to handle such material, and he does so with poise and surefootedness. The proficiency of involved participants raises routine material above the ground and makes for engaging viewing, and this film is a case in point.
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