Un film d'une grande densité émotionnelle pour un splendide et magistral jeu des principaux acteurs. Néanmoins, face à la force et à la richesse du court et puissant roman d'Horace Mac Coy, la réalisation ne peut que paraître timorée et banale. Une intense étude sociologique d'une période dramatique des States... www.cinefiches.com
Masterpiece. One of the best and most riveting films about the Great Depression. Sydney Pollack never made a finer film than this. What starts as a fun contest turns into a grotesque reflection of America and the will to survive. The performances are unforgettable. The period look is remarkable. It's one of the most captivating films of the late 60s - and that is saying something. Susannah York is transcendent.
Has enough juice to keep it interesting for the first half an hour. After which, upon establishing a clear allegory for Depression era, it never fully develops neither its socially engaged nor satirical view of it. What comes out is a just a repetitive soft-exploitation film that doesn't know where to evolve from out-of-place confused bunch of faces.
Beautifully enhances the story Horace McCoy so poignantly told in his novel. The choices people had to make to get food on the table during the depression, the relationships formed in the competition, and the revelations made shrink into a miniature America. The ending, which also explains the title, is haunting and quite possibly one of the best endings in both literature and cinema. Quiet but so full of meaning.
The atmosphere of the story is beyond oppressive, pained, and grim to the point of despair. But if it's a heaviness one has breathed in real life, then what more can a work of art do but offer the bleak evidence? Certainly, it would offer some relief by contrast. And who hasn't felt the unbearable press of time bear down on one's shoulders, as we lace up our ill-fitting blades and take to the ice again and again?
Cinematography by Philip H. Lathrop. "Desire" list. I know very little of Michael Sarrazin, but in this movie the little I know it will be worth, eventually, by the much I do not know of him. Where did we see another man who so much aspired to be a murmur or a fable?