Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago.Written by
Geraldine Page, in a magazine interview shortly before her death, said the make-up artists and hairdressers spent hours on her face and hair to obtain the 'look' of a beautiful, albeit, aging movie star. Page thought this glamorized version of Alexandra wasn't right for the part, since Alexandra Del Lago was an alcoholic and drug user, but Page admitted she felt it was the best she ever looked in her entire life. See more »
At 52:52, the position of Chance's arm changes. See more »
Over the Rainbow
Music by Harold Arlen
Heard as a theme when Chance and Alexandra arrive at the hotel. Played on piano by Ray Sherman. See more »
Paul Newman is outstanding as the ultimate gigolo gold-digger. This movie also features the quintessential "Heavenly" daughter/ big bad daddy performances by Knight and by Begley, who is frighteningly effective.
Geraldine Page is perfectly imperfect and unattractive- remember she is this way for dramatic effect. You aren't supposed to like her. Anti-heroes and character studies were really featured in that era's plays and films. Such characters don't have to be likable and seldom are. Wonderful 1960's actresses Mildred Dunnock and Madeleine Sherwood also give their usual gem-like performances.
If you want to see what 1960's-style movie-making was really all about, view this one. Sure it is uneven and maybe a little old-fashioned by today's standards, but you can get an idea of why some of us are nostalgic for a decade that is known for big changes in movies, but otherwise somewhat forgotten. Here you get a good dose of the cynicism and fine acting of the 60's but without the annoying pretentiousness that was so prevalent in films of the era.
Also, you don't have to be familiar with the stage play or Tennessee Williams in order to appreciate this movie-making effort by Richard Brooks.
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