Young up-and-comer George Eastman is thrust into the blue collar life of a rich uncle’s family business where he’s expected to learn the ropes from the bottom up. While paying his dues, Eastman becomes involved with Alice Tripp, a simple, trusting girl on the assembly line.
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The protagonist's apathy towards the end and his inability to explain himself resembles l'etranger by Camus. Maybe that part of the movie is the most important one and maybe it could have been more explicit in that sense. The way he meets liz taylor in the movie reminds me of how the protagonist of matchpoint meets scarlett, it makes sense, after all the movies play the same theme but with different moralizations.
Stevens' adaptation of Dreiser's 'An American Tragedy' pars down the story and succinctly tells the story of a man's morality which is corrupted by reaching for a life unattainable. Despite its ridiculous court room hysteria in the final reel the film works due to fine turns from Clift, Winters and a radiant Taylor. Winner of 6 academy awards including director, script and cinematography.
Of course it's good, but the existential questions on free will vs class-based determinism create a tempest in my brain that I find exhausting. Can't we just be invited into wealth, get a gorgeous young Liz and ignore our past without the cost of spiritual/psychological damnation (all apropos our neo-robber-baron 1% vs digital working class world)? Could be Meat Loaf from Bat Out of Hell era in a Calvinist choir loft
I loved Montgomery Clift after watching From Here to Eternity, but this film is what made me a fanatic. The man was great. And Elizabeth Taylor never looked better than as the woman that poor George Eastman just cannot resist.
It's hard not to be moved by such unsettling and yet sublime happenings. How could not love that angel named Elizabeth Taylor.
Montgomery Clift captures his character's inner turmoils with utmost perfection.
"Desire" list: was there a more ciné-ecstasy couple than this one? And Clift, was he ever so markedly indelible in memory for his extraordinary bruised beauty? A film something academic and certainly nothing unusual, that the couple Taylor-Clift brand and does what the filmmaker little knew to do. In "poesia" list because of Taylor and Shelley Winters.
(re-watching | 2K) a little better on the 2nd glance, but still too much biblical with its b&w dualistic oppositions (otherwise, the b&w cinematography is beautiful). The film feels short even if it's 2 hours long.
I don't like this movie however I admire the craftsmanship. I know why so many directors love it, including Mike Nichols, but the premise is unconvincing. I won't elaborate because I don't want to spoil. The only performer who makes any deep impression is Elizabeth Taylor. Stevens was better when he had a sense of fun.