Angie Rossini is an innocent Italian Catholic Macy's salesgirl, who discovers she's pregnant from a fling with Rocky, a musician. Angie finds Rocky (who doesn't remember her at first) to ... See full summary »
During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his remote 10th Century castle hoping a battle there against the advancing Germans will not lead to its destruction and all the heritage within.
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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
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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