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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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.
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
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.
A dark masterpiece which violently condemns the unwieldy ambition that drives the pursuit of the American Dream, here presented as the desire to attain wealth and status. Montgomery Clift, not Marlon Brando, was robbed of the Best Actor Oscar in 1951. A perfect portrayal of a man robbed of his innocence by the lure of the big city, a beautiful woman, and, very interestingly, his own birth position.