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This Property Is Condemned (1966)

The dramatic love story of small-town Mississippi girl Alva Starr and railroad official Owen Legate, set during the Great Depression.



(suggested by a one act play of), (screenplay) (as Francis Coppola) | 2 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Alva Starr
... Owen Legate
... J.J. Nichols
... Hazel Starr
... Willie Starr
... Knopke
... Sidney
John Harding ... Gerard Johnson
... Salesman
Ray Hemphill ... Jimmy Bell
Brett Pearson ... Charlie Steinkamp
... Tom
Quentin Sondergaard ... Hank (as Quintin Sondergaard)
Mike Steen ... Max
... Lindsay Tate


A railroad official, Owen Legate comes to Dodson, Mississippi to shut down much of the town's railway (town's main income). Owen unexpectedly finds love with Dodson's flirt and main attraction, Alva Starr. Alva and Owen then try to escape Alva's mother's (Hazel) clutches and the town's revenge. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Call her what you want. Do with her what you will. But remember... This property is condemned. See more »


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 1966 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Una mujer sin horizonte  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Natalie Wood had to perform a scene standing in a steel water tank for cattle. She was so afraid of dark water that costar Robert Blake had to dive under the water, hold his breath and steady her legs so she could perform the scene. See more »


At about 1:20 Alva smashes Mr. Johnson's glass during a toast in the bar, then later in the scene the glass is sitting on the table unbroken. See more »


Alva Starr: New Orleans is certainly not a place where a person needs to feel the pain of separation for long.
See more »


References One Way Passage (1932) See more »


Li'l Liza Jane
Written by Ada De Lachau
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User Reviews

Magnificent Swansong
5 October 2008 | by See all my reviews

This was the last of the big Hollywood movies of Tennessee Williams plays, a series of masterpieces which started with 'The Glass Menagerie' (1950) and went on for 16 unforgettable years. And this is certainly one of the best. It is simply packed with talent in every department, directed by Sydney Pollack, script by Francis Ford Coppola, and Oscar-level performances from at least four members of the cast: Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Kate Reid, and Mary Badham. It is such a tragedy that Mary Badham gave up acting after this, as she was pure magic. Of all Natalie Wood's performances, this is probably the best. What an entrancing and magical creature! I never knew her but I had the great treat of sitting across from her at an adjoining dinner table in the Oak Room of the Plaza one night, and was just as dazzled as could be, and against all protocol and etiquette, simply could not take my eyes off her. She was dining with Lauren Bacall, whom I barely noticed in the penumbra of Natalie Wood's supernatural glow, and as a Bacall admirer that really does say something. Robert Redford has to portray a very quiet, contained character, so has little opportunity for 'big acting' in this film, but he triumphs at understatement, which was always one of his strengths. Another of the knockouts is Kate Reid as the most ravening, selfish, exploitative mother you can imagine. Well, I can, as I have met some like that, and believe me, she is spot on, to make your skin crawl. The Natalie Wood character is a revisiting of the girl in 'The Glass Menagerie', someone trapped, taking refuge in her dreams. She throws herself around, from man to man, basking in admiration because there seems to be nothing else. The motif of the cruelty and violence of a gang of men recurs here, reminding us of 'Suddenly, Last Summer'. This setting is a nowhere town in Mississippi, where the railroad is about to close. These are classic Tennessee Williams themes, but deeply felt and genuine, from the heart. By this time, Tennessee himself was as trapped as Natalie Wood, not in the state of Mississippi, but in another state, one of the mind. Seeing him bleary-eyed at a bar in the 1960s was a sad sight, and his gentle but tragic smalltalk as he sipped whiskey lacked focus. He was in what he knew was His Decline. But he must have been thrilled that this whopping realisation of one of his shorter plays came out just when he most needed a boost to his sagging morale. What a pity that after that, there was only television, what Newton Minnow at the time aptly called 'the Vast Wasteland'. The sadness in the Williams plays, and in the play which he himself lived, called his Life, are truly unbearable. Tennessee was a Great Soul. This film deserves to be on the list of everybody's classics, as it has something that will never die about it.

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