An American scientist is sent by the CIA to East Germany to retrieve a secret microfilm from a Soviet scientist interested in defecting to the West but the Stasi secret police's surveillance complicates matters.
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Eager to land a journalistic position, Adam White goes to work as an advice-giving newspaper columnist. His editor, Shrike, takes pleasure in browbeating his alcoholic wife Florence for her past adultery, and assigning his employees journalistic jobs for which they have little aptitude or interest. Shrike goads Adam into meeting one of his correspondents, Fay Doyle, a teary, self-pitying woman who makes a play for him. Adam is torn between his loyalty to the newspaper and his girl Justy.Written by
Ironically, one of Montgomery Clift's first lines in the film was about how he's allergic to alcohol. The reality was the exact opposite. See more »
Drama critic on major metropolitan morning newspaper comes into work morning after he's seen a lousy production of Othello complaining about review he'll have to write; in reality, critics for morning newspapers write reviews same night play opened so critiques will appear in following morning's editions. See more »
To display his acting prowess, you could not find two more different roles for this excellent actor. Knowing the sadness of his personal life will give you even more perspective into this movie. I am not a soap opera fan, so I can't say how close to sentimental melodrama this gets, but it is saved from 'B-ness' (as in B-movie) by the sensitivity that Montgomery Clift puts into this movie. Having seen Robert Ryan in many war movies, I was not as impressed by his dry, cynical newspaper editor role. Not as routine as John Wayne playing himself (or what he would have LIKED to be) throughout all his movies, but close.
The last scene was well written, as was much of the dialogue. I liked the real sturm-und-drang that Clift's girlfriend has to go through after his lies are confessed to her. To watch Jean Stapleton go from victim to witch was quite interesting, and the plot has some interesting twists.
The suffering in Montgomery Clift's eyes, as he portrays an 'Advice to the Lovelorn' writer who gets too close to his 'clients' was not all acting. An automobile accident left him permanently marred and brought about his early death several years after this movie was made.
You will not erase his haunted eyes from your brain soon. And don't think too long about the issues here: How close can we 'civilized human beings' get to another's suffering without being swept away by it? It will hurt your brain.
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