7.1/10
4,797
62 user 26 critic

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.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Tennessee Williams (suggested by a one act play of), Francis Ford Coppola (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

Cast overview, first billed only:
Natalie Wood ... Alva Starr
Robert Redford ... Owen Legate
Charles Bronson ... J.J. Nichols
Kate Reid ... Hazel Starr
Mary Badham ... Willie Starr
Alan Baxter ... Knopke
Robert Blake ... Sidney
John Harding John Harding ... Gerard Johnson
Dabney Coleman ... Salesman
Ray Hemphill Ray Hemphill ... Jimmy Bell
Brett Pearson Brett Pearson ... Charlie Steinkamp
Jon Provost ... Tom
Quentin Sondergaard Quentin Sondergaard ... Hank (as Quintin Sondergaard)
Mike Steen Mike Steen ... Max
Bruce Watson ... Lindsay Tate
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1966 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

This Property Is Condemned See more »

Filming Locations:

Biloxi, Mississippi, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Alva's train is headed to New Orleans, there is a shot of it crossing a long over-water trestle, and there is a modern highway bridge in the background. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

References A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Li'l Liza Jane
Traditional
Written by Ada De Lachau
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Railroad track blues.
26 September 2001 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Natalie Wood ,giving one of her best performances ,portrays a typical Williams heroine.Alva is an innocent sinner.She knows she's attractive,she teases every man around,but she has kept her childhood's dream,she's an immature character.she's akin to the girl of "the glass menagerie".Alva hides her dream in a convert rail car which bears her own name,like the latter dreams her life away with her frail animals.All right,Laura is a pure young girl,Alva is not,by a long shot,but it does not make a big difference.Innocence ,for Tennessee Williams is only a matter of heart.Alva might have been some kind of Blanche Du Bois too.Both are victims,both have a romantic dream,both pretend (Natalie's red dress,Blanche's schlock jewels).I think Alma's arrival in New Orleans is a tribute to Kazan's "streetcar named desire":as she gets out of the train,there's some smoke around.

The over -possessive mother is also a constant in Williams' universe.Alma's mother (a magnificent Kate Reid) recalls Mrs Venable in "suddenly last summer".If Alma does not realize she's some kind of prostitute-Redford tells her so while they are hiding behind the bushes-,her mother resembles a madam in a brothel(the boarding-house).

It's Redford's character who will spoil the party.By revealing Alma who she really is,by telling her he's got no dream,by his social status,he's a man who lives in the material world.Many users noticed it was an ambiguous character:after all he comes to lay off railroad workers in this one-horse town which Alma longs to leave for broader horizons.

The boarding-house and the tiny railway station are certainly a dead end for the heroine.And this car named "Alma" symbolizes a land where time stands still.When Alma leaves for New Orleans ,James Wong Howe's wonderful camera becomes aerial with breathtaking high angle shots on the train.

This is a rather talky movie,and it loses steam in the third part in New Orleans,but it sure did not deserve such a poor rating when so many talents are involved(outside the already mentioned people,there's also Bronson and Ford Coppola -script writer-).It's the beginning of Pollack's heyday,when he was a genuine artist who gave us such major works as "Jeremiah Johnson" and "they shoot horses don't they?".A far cry from "Tootsie" or "the firm".


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