HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back
Detective Conan: The Phantom of Baker Street
Lost in Paris
Goodbye Lover
Mouse Story: The Adventures of George and Gerald
Young Dragons: Kung Fu Kids
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Amazing Mr. X, The
Haunted House Elf
Lost & Found
Reformation
Abyss, The
Agent 505: Death Trap in Beirut
Lured
Jem and the Holograms
Burning of Red Lotus Monastery, The
Bag Boy Lover Boy
Sleepless Night
Willy McBean and His Magic Machine
Robbery
Tag
Never Back Down
Doraemon: Nobita's Little Star Wars
Kriminal
It Comes at Night
Strangled
Mojin - The Lost Legend
Poison Ivy
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Union Station
   
 
Newest Articles
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
   
 
  Place in the Sun, A An American TragedyBuy this film here.
Year: 1951
Director: George Stevens
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Anne Revere, Keefe Brasselle, Fred Clark, Raymond Burr, Herbert Heyes, Shepperd Strudwick, Frieda Inescort, Kathryn Givney, Walter Sande, Ted de Corsia, John Ridgely, Lois Chartrand
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Young, poor and working class, George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) leaves Chicago and his religious mother, hoping to build a better life working at the business run by his wealthy uncle Charles (Herbert Heyes). On the factory floor George befriends timid wallflower Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters), whom he begins courting after work. Since fraternising with co-workers is strictly forbidden, they keep their relationship a secret. At a high society bash, George is smitten with beautiful socialite Angela Vickers (a dazzling Elizabeth Taylor), who in turn falls deeply in love with him. They plan to marry, while George seems set to rise into the upper echelons of the jet set. Until Alice falls pregnant, driving George into a desperate act that proves his undoing.

Theodore Dreiser’s novel “An American Tragedy” had been filmed before in 1931, as a piece of heavy-handed moralising by Josef von Sternberg, but A Place in the Sun eclipsed its predecessor to become an American classic. It won six Oscars, propelled Elizabeth Taylor to super stardom and cemented Montgomery Clift’s reputation as the finest young actor of his day. In lesser hands George Eastman could come across as a despicable social climber, but thanks to the sensitive script and Clift’s delicately pitched performance - which neither plays for sympathy nor stresses any all-consuming urge, just drifts sadly towards a sorry fate like a leaf blown on the wind - he emerges a profoundly affecting, flawed antihero. His big scene in the rowboat with Alice runs the gamut from heartrending pathos to mounting suspense and eventually tragic irony.

All George wants is his piece of the American Dream, something so many disenfranchised and desperate young men were searching for around the post-war period and which, for the first time, seemed within reach of ordinary, blue collar joes. Angela Vickers comes across as the living embodiment of this picture perfect ideal. Far from some hoity-toity, high society princess, she emerges as someone spirited yet warm and loving. Aged just seventeen, Taylor not only radiates star quality but delivers a remarkably self-assured turn, transforming her famous line (“Tell Mama”) into a devastating composite of compassion and sensuality. Nonetheless, the film implies Angela remains an unattainable dream for someone whose crippling self-loathing derives from social adversity. Towards the finale, director George Stevens pinpoints society’s tendency to favour swift justice over social analysis, largely because whatever answers might be derived would likely rattle bourgeois complacency. And yet George’s psychological state and ensuing actions remain ambiguous, not only to viewers but to the confused, conflicted protagonist himself, right until the achingly poignant fadeout.

All of which makes A Place in the Sun sound oppressively bleak and yet Stevens eloquent direction ensures the film flows beautifully. His visual ingenuity has the camera soaring along with Franz Waxman’s glorious score and turns the ingredients of melodrama into something genuinely heartfelt and poetic. Restrictions of the period mean the film has to tread carefully around the subject of pre-marital sex, pregnancy and abortion, but does so with a subtlety and sensitivity that dilutes none of its dramatic power. Shelley Winters, whose atypical appearance here was something of a dramatic departure from her then glamorous image, is heartbreaking as the awkward, ordinary girl whom George romances then dumps when drawn by the irresistible allure of high society as embodied by luscious Angela Vickers. Also look out for a young Raymond Burr doing a dry run for his long stint as Perry Mason in the role of the bullish prosecutor.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1650 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: