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
Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman), an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie (Dame Elizabeth Taylor). His reunion with his father, Big Daddy (Burl Ives), who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
The young and poor George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) leaves his religious mother and Chicago, Illinois and arrives in California expecting to find a better job in the business of his wealthy uncle Charles Eastman (Herbert Heyes). His cousin Earl Eastman (Keefe Brasselle) advises him that there are many women in the factory and the basic rule is that he must not hang around with any of them. George meets the worker of the assembly line, Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters), in the movie theater and they date. Meanwhile, the outcast George is promoted and he meets the gorgeous Angela Vickers (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) at a party thrown at his uncle's house. Angela introduces him to the local high society and they fall in love with each other. However, Alice is pregnant and she wants to get married to George. During a dinner party at Angela's lake house with parents, relatives, and friends, Alice calls George from the bus station and gives him thirty minutes to meet her; otherwise she will crash ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I can only say that George Stevens' version of Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy" is not what I envisioned when I read the book. Therefore, I came away disappointed at the screen treatment with Liz Taylor (beautiful but shallow), Montgomery Clift (beautiful but shallow) and poor Shelley Winters looking like a drab little wren. An air of artificiality hangs over every scene, every slow-moving scene, and only increases by the time the story arrives at the courtroom climax where an unrestrained Raymond Burr is allowed to chew the scenery.
This is NOT the great picture everyone always says it is. It's one of those films that dates badly. Evidently, fans of Liz Taylor and Monty Clift are starry-eyed about their favorite actors and refuse to see the weaknesses in the plodding story and the thinly sketched characters. Elizabeth Taylor had much better roles in her future career (Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Giant) and Montgomery Clift would make an unforgettable Morris Townsend in The Heiress. Their acting here is as self-conscious as the arty camerawork that frames them in huge romantic close-ups.
The novel had much more depth and meaning than this watered down version of the story. Read it and you will wonder what all the fuss was about when "A Place in the Sun" was released. Vastly overrated and noteworthy only for the sincere performance of Shelley Winters and Franz Waxman's interesting background score.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this