In the post-war, the alcoholic and bitter veteran military and former writer Dave Hirsch returns from Chicago to his hometown Parkman, Indiana. He is followed by Ginnie Moorehead, a vulgar and easy woman with whom he spent his last night in Chicago that has fallen in love with him. The resentful Dave meets his older brother Frank Hirsh, who owns a jewelry store and is a prominent citizen of Parkman that invites him to have dinner with his family. Dave meets his sister-in-law Agnes that hates him since one character of his novel had been visibly inspired on her, and his teenage niece Dawn. Frank introduces the school teacher Gwen French to him and Dave feels attracted by the beautiful woman that is daughter of his former Professor Robert Haven French and idolizes his work as writer. However, his unrequited love with Gwen drives Dave back to the local bar where he befriends the professional gambler Bama Dillert and meets Ginnie again with the Chicago's mobster Raymond Lanchak that was ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Dave Hirsch meets Professor French at Frank Hirsch's home they shake hands and drop their arms. In the next shot they are shaking hands again. See more »
I'm afraid we're going to have to keep you here for a while, Mr. Dillert.
Now, what is this? A hospital or a jail?
It's not a question of legality. It's a question of professional responsibility. You're a sick man, Mr. Dillert. Oh, not from the knife wound - that was slight. But we discovered quite accidentally that you have rather an advanced case of... diabetes mellitus.
I got what?
I noticed there was considerable alcohol content in your blood test. How much whiskey do you drink in a ...
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In any other year Shirley MacLaine would have walked off with the Best Actress Oscar, but NO ONE was going to take it from Susan Hayward in 1958.
In fact the film is filled with nominations, Arthur Kennedy for Best Supporting Actor, Martha Hyer for Best Supporting Actress and these were great performances. Dean Martin does a great follow-up to The Young Lions in playing Bama Dillert here. This was no stretch for Dino however. This is exactly the kind of background he came from, so the part fit him like a comfortable old shoe.
The flaw is Sinatra. To his credit, he really tries hard and succeeds in spots. But he's miscast in a part that either Paul Newman or Montgomery Clift might have taken an Oscar home for.
But the acting honors go to MacLaine. The high point of the movie is her scene with Martha Hyer in Martha's classroom at the college. This poor pathetic Ginny Moorehead trying to assess her situation vis a vis Dave Hirsch pulls all the stops out. You have to be made of stone not to be moved by her pleas to Martha Hyer and Hyer's reactions in this scene probably got her, her nomination.
If you can get past a miscast Frank Sinatra, then this film is a gem.
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