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Ephraim Cabot is an old man of amazing vitality who loves his New England farm with a greedy passion. Hating him, and sharing his greed, are the sons of two wives Cabot has overworked into early graves. Most bitter is Eben, whose mother had owned most of the farm, and who feels who should be sole heir. When the old man brings home a new wife, Anna, she becomes a fierce contender to inherit the farm. Two of the sons leave when Eben gives them the fare in return for their shares of the farm. Meanwhile, Anna tries to cause some sparks by rubbing up against Eben.Written by
Ray Hamel <email@example.com>
Sophia Loren comes to Hollywood...results are mixed
After a couple of studio films shot on location, Italian actress and sex symbol Sophia Loren finally made it onto Hollywood soil for this uneven, uncertain melodrama adapted from Eugene O'Neill's controversial play. A tyrannical New England farmer (Burl Ives), who apparently worked his past two wives to death, brings home a new wife to meet his sons--two of whom take off for California and the third (Anthony Perkins) who stays and eventually falls in love with the Mrs. The performers seem to be at a mismatch with this very strange material; though they try hard, the heavy prose and illogical situations would be enough to defeat anybody. The character motivations aren't always clear, not helped by the narrative which, at a crucial point, jumps ahead in time and nearly alienates the audience. Ives gives a full-throttle, blustery-old-windbag performance which infuses the scenario with a prickly tension (and the screenplay surprisingly never scores points against him), but glinty-eyed Loren is a bit out of her depth. Still, she survives the absurd final reel with her dignity intact, while the picture ends on such a dour note that the overall impression is one of supreme dissatisfaction. Daniel L. Fapp won an Oscar nomination for his handsome (if overlit) photography; Delbert Mann directed in an awkward and stagy fashion. **1/2 from ****
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