A naive car hop and would be model marries one of the richest men in America, but soon leaves him to make it on her own as a doctor's receptionist. Shot with masterful command of light and shadow by Lee Garmes, and silken camera moves by Max Ophuls, it's boldly performed by Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Ryan and James Mason. Written by Arthur Laurents, the tycoon is Ophul's and his first hand portrait of Howard Hughes.
Très bon mélodrame qui dresse le portrait juste et difficile de la condition féminine fin des années 40 aux Etats Unis. La thématique est rare après l'ère pré-code et Ophuls maitrise parfaitement son sujet. C'est fin et les acteurs sont tous magnifiques. Merci Mubi pour cette rareté!
6/10. Contains the most tastelessly cheerful treatment of perinatal death you may ever witness on film. Had to rewatch the surreal ending next day to believe I saw this. There is romantic Mason's casual prognosis in the ambulance, and then there's the scene in the clinic: "Er, premature birth, baby dying." Cut. Bel Geddes... smiles. (And she never even looked pregnant.) Quite incredible. || Camerawork virtuosic.
Un excellent mélodrame porté par une héroïne très intéressante. Les ellipses aident le récit à gagner en efficacité, en cruauté aussi. Le mari est un peu caricatural (une nouvelle fois, la psychanalyse permet de construire un peu trop rapidement le personnage, sans nuances), mais la femme et son patron offrent plusieurs scènes charmantes et déchirantes. Comme toujours, la mise en scène d'Ophuls est excellente.
Part of the noir kingdom, but also a vast, pulsating psychodrama, more Sirk than Chandler, where an everywoman is pushed into a position of sexuality, then, er, caught in a reality (call it mid-century America) where all she can choose is which sort of man will possess and define her. Layered, subversive, and over-the-top enough in its visual design that the melodrama feels natural. All the themes of Ophuls' career.
Finely acted and peculiar with occasionally inventive camerawork. Begins in familiar territory and returns to touch base with the familiar from time to time, but becomes increasingly dark and transgressive. The ending would be tragic in most films, here it's played as a happy ending. Imagine a classic Hollywood romance with Wednesday Addams behind the lens.
Ophuls only made four films in Hollywood and this is the second of the four that I have seen recently which didn't quite live up to my expectations. Ryan is utterly loathsome as the millionaire who marries Bel Geddes just to spite his psychoanalyst. She turns to Mason's kindly doctor for salvation but can't escape her husband's hold on her. It starts off sombre and gripping but goes off the rails towards the end.....
The third of four films Max Ophuls directed in Hollywood before his famous run of French masterpieces in the 50's, a pseudo-noir (lit beautifully by Lee Garmes) with Robert Ryan as a tyrant refusing to let his sweet wife (Barbara Bel Geddes) off the hook to marry skinny doctor James Mason. An Ophuls trademark, the moving camera is always mesmerizing, even if the plot resolution is less than overwhelming.