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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » The Country Girl » User review

Excellent performances by Crosby, Kelly, and Holden

  • Mar 12, 2011
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Rating:
+4
Years ago, Frank Elgin (Bing Crosby) was a successful singer and actor, but a tragedy turned him in to an alcoholic loser and his wife, Georgie (Grace Kelly), into a bitter shrew. A young Broadway director (William Holden) wants Frank to star in his new show, but Frank's drinking and his uncooperative wife may spell disaster.

This stark and touching drama has both Bing and Grace playing against type and they're both wonderful. Bing plays the weak has-been with utter sincerity and Grace drabs it up to play the nagging wife. She won Best Actress and he was nominated for Best Actor. The two reunited two years later in "High Society," playing carefree socialites, showing their versatility. William Holden is excellent as the demanding director who pulls a good performance out of Frank and shakes up the angry Georgie.

The script draws on the themes of guilt, alcoholism, and redemption and the black and white photography emphasizes Frank and Georgie's misery. It's a very good and thought-provoking film. 4.5 stars.
Excellent performances by Crosby, Kelly, and Holden Excellent performances by Crosby, Kelly, and Holden Excellent performances by Crosby, Kelly, and Holden Excellent performances by Crosby, Kelly, and Holden

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The Country Girl is a 1954 drama film adapted by George Seaton from a Clifford Odets play of the same name, which tells the story of an alcoholic has-been actor struggling with the one last chance he's been given to resurrect his career. It stars Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and William Holden. Seaton, who also directed, won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay. It was entered in the 1955 Cannes Film Festival.[1]

Kelly won the Oscar for Best Actress for the role, which previously had earned Uta Hagen her first Tony Award in the play's original Broadway production. The role, a non-glamorous departure for Kelly, was as the alcoholic actor's long-suffering wife.

The win was a huge surprise, as most critics and people in the press felt that Judy Garland would win for A Star Is Born. NBC even sent a camera crew to Garland's hospital room, where she was recuperating from the birth to her son, in order to conduct a live interview with her if she won. The win by Kelly instead famously prompted Groucho Marx to send Garland a telegram stating it was "the biggest robbery since Brinks."

Given the period of its production, the film is notable for its realistic, frank dialog and honest treatments of the surreptitious side of alcoholism and post-divorce misogyny.

Some of the dialogue was used in a Mika song, "Grace Kelly".

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