War veteran Johnny Pope, his wife of four years Celia Pope, who is pregnant with their first child, and Johnny's younger brother Polo Pope live together in a working class existence in the inner city of New York. Johnny and Polo have always looked out for each other, which is now made all the more difficult with Polo, unknown to Johnny, being attracted to Celia himself. Uneducated Polo is currently the largest household breadwinner working as a bouncer at a sleazy bar - it the best paying job with his skills - as Johnny, untold to Celia, has lost his latest job, the fourth such in the last three months. Without a word, Johnny often disappears for large periods of time, and although she inherently still loves him, Celia is uncertain if she can stay in a marriage in which he no longer touches her or acknowledges their baby, especially as she believes he is having an affair. She would admit to herself that in her loneliness she often does think about falling into Polo's arms. These ...Written by
When Johnny surprises Celia with dinner and flowers, the camera starts to back out of the kitchen, but something or someone runs into the curtain hanging on the right, causing it to move quite a bit. See more »
John Pope, Sr:
This the age of vacuum. Nothing's right, nothing's wrong. Nobody's for, nobody's against - which is all waiting around... - waiting for the world blowing...
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A Korean war veteran (Don Murray) has developed a raging heroin habit which he hides from his pregnant wife (Eva Marie Saint)and his father (Lloyd Nolan). He has those classic "I've got a monkey on my back" mannerisms which the audience can appreciate, while the wife and father wonder why he seems nervous all the time. His dealer, a character known as Mother, played by Henry Silva, and Mother's sidekick, a beatnik type known as Chuch, played by Gerald S. O Laughlin, are memorable characters. Murray is great as his desperation grows, in debt to Mother, trying to keep his problem a secret, pushed to the extreme. The powerhouse drama features an utterly fantastic role, played by Anthony Franciosa, as Murray's heavy drinking brother, who protects Murray but is in love with his wife at the same time. It could have all been too stagey, but thanks to director Fred Zinneman, there's action to spare in this gritty New York drama.
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