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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He loved the rich girl, he decided to take a risk and started to have dates with one of the factory's female workers. After that, there is just fear, and paranoia, and desire. I think I never saw such beautiful shots about the obscure thoughts of a character: we don't need the dialogue, Stevens just gives the eyes, the music, the darkness, to make a journey through the main character's mind. And oh my!, how it works.
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.
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.
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.