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.
Clift and Taylor's scenes are really boring, they just talk about how much they love each other in a needy and repetitive manner. All my stars go to Shelley Winters. Just like in "Night of the hunter", she is so warm and authentic and simultaneously really pathetic, that you kinda root for her but at the same time enjoy her suffering. She was awesome.
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.
it's a 5 star movie until Raymond Burr enters the picture.. I wish it had just ended before all that... in its time and before perry mason it would have been perfect. what a timely film for today though, with the talk of planned parenthood being defunded. shelly and monty and liz at their best. loved it.
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.
This brilliant masterpiece holds the best use of cross fade. The superimpositions are not only effective of the time passing, but they stretch temporality, and allow constant flux of emotion to pass form on shot to another, allowing the memory so ephemeral and fractured to emerge stronger than any other perception, a image so strong that imposes herself onto all others, like Taylor's and Clift's performances.
"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.
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