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A Place in the Sun

6 Ratings: 4.0
Art House & International and Classics movie directed by George Stevens

George Stevens won an Oscar for his 1951 adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's novelAn American Tragedy, though the film seems a little overwrought today and even self-parodying at times. Still, Montgomery Clift's performance as a poor lad so drawn to a rich, … see full wiki

Tags: Movies
Director: George Stevens
Genre: Classics, Foreign
1 review about A Place in the Sun

the American dream which dissolved into a nightmare

  • Apr 30, 2008
Rating:
+5
Originally filmed in 1931, Theodore Dreiser's landmark novel "An American Tragedy" came back to the screen in 1951, directed by George Stevens under the new title of A PLACE IN THE SUN, with an inspired cast. This moving romance captured the emotions of post-war audiences with it's unflinching, painful depiction of one man's struggle to achieve the American dream, and the fates which conspire against him.

Poor, unassuming George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) leaves his strict, religious mother (Anne Revere) and heads for the big city to work in his rich uncle's bathing suit factory. There, despite a rule which forbids relationships between employees, he falls into a dalliance with dowdy factory girl Alice Tripp (Academy Award-nominee Shelley Winters). Despite Alice's eventual pregnancy, George doesn't see a lasting future with her; instead his affections lie with Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor), the dazzling young debutante who offers George the social status and family approval he craves. Still, Alice lingers in the wings, with a secret that will eventually need to be revealed. Just how will George manage to negotiate his way through this delicate situation, and what tragedies will envelope the love triangle?...

Montgomery Clift was and still is the perfect actor to play George (in the original Dreiser novel, the character's name was Clyde). Elizabeth Taylor, in her first truly adult role away from her almer-mater studio MGM, glows as Angela, a character who might have become too vapid or uninteresting in the hands of a lesser actress. Shelley Winters fought hard to win the role of Alice, and in doing so broke away from the sexpot blonde characters she had endured as a contract star for Universal-International. For some great backstage tales about the making of A PLACE IN THE SUN, check out Shelley Winters' entertaining autobiography "Shelley (Also Known as Shirley)".

Still as hard-hitting and heartbreaking today as when it was first released more than fifty years ago, A PLACE IN THE SUN deserves a proud place in your classic movie collection. A no-brainer purchase.

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