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A Masterpiece, by George Stevens
claudio_carvalho19 March 2012
The young and poor George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) leaves his religious mother and Chicago and arrives in California expecting to find a better job in the business of his wealthy uncle Charles Eastman (Herbert Heyes). His cousin Earl Eastman (Keefe Brasselle) advises him that there are many women in the factory and the basic rule is that he must not hang around with any of them.

George meets the worker of the assembly line Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters) in the movie theater and they date. Meanwhile, the outcast George is promoted and he meets the gorgeous Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor) in a party at his uncle's house. Angela introduces him to the local high society and they fall in love with each other. However, Alice is pregnant and she wants to get married with George. During a dinner party at Angela's lake house with parents, relatives and friends, Alice calls George from the bus station and gives thirty minutes to him to meet her; otherwise she will crash the party and tells what has happened. George is pressed by the situation that ends in a tragedy.

"A Place in the Sun" is an unforgettable masterpiece by George Stevens and one of the best love stories ever made, with the perfect development of characters and situations. I watched this film for the first time on 14 June 2001 on cable television and yesterday I saw it again on a Paramount DVD with Extras telling details about the difficulties that George Stevens faced to bring Theodore Dreiser's novel "An American Tragedy" to a motion picture and casting. He had to sue Paramount to carry out the signed contract and get the agreed budget. Another interesting point is Shelley Winters, who was a sex symbol at that time, telling how she got the role of Alice Tripp. Elizabeth Taylor also tells funny things about her relationship with Montgomery Cliff. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Um Lugar Ao Sol" ("A Place in the Sun")
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Let's hear it for William C. Mellor
nick-36818 October 2004
Isn't IMDb great? As well as reading the detailed and thoughtful criticisms from contributors about a film like this, you can browse through all sorts of IMDb trivia, discovering interesting stuff all the time. My latest favourite activity on the site is checking out films that won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Needless to say A Place in the Sun won this award for William C. Mellor. Much has already been said of the beauty and precision of the images. I'd like to add a comment about one shot where Clift is coerced into a speedboat ride with Taylor and her rich pals. The static camera is on the jetty with a portable radio in close-up. The speedboat pulling away and doing a spin in the bay occupies our middle vision, while hills and boats lie in the distance. All of them are in wonderful pin-sharp deep focus, a skill that seems all but lost in today's productions. The radio announces the discovery of the girl's body while the boat speeds past, completing the dramatic reason for the shot.

A funny thing I've noticed about these great cinematographers is they all seemed to live a good long life, usually working right up the end of their lives. I don't know why, I just thought I'd mention it!
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Clift, Taylor, Stevens and a spellbinding American tragedy
littlemartinarocena28 February 2007
Time does extraordinary things with greatness. If nothing else it confirms it. "A Place in the Sun" is a remarkable example of that theory. I rushed to buy a DVD after watching a BBC documentary on ELizabeth Taylor to celebrate her 75th birthday! In "A Place on the Sun" an Elizabeth Taylor barely out of her teens is paired with Montgomery Clift. She had been raised at MGM and groomed for movie stardom from day one. He was a method actor, complex, introspective and their coupling produced something that I'm tempted to call, unrepeatable. The actors own personal stories, their friendship, mutual love and respect made it possible for their communion to be so transcendental. To make things even more perfect, the film seems a love letter from director George Stevens to his stars and vice versa. Look at the opening credits and tell me if you've ever seen a more startling introduction to a character/star. The story of doomed love and descend into darkness is, without question, one of the best ever made.
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An American Tragedy, on film, becomes an American masterpiece
bmacv1 September 2003
Bringing Theodore Dreiser's sprawling novel An American Tragedy to the screen must have been a daunting task, made harder by the constraints Paramount imposed on director George Stevens. The studio had lost big on a version made 20 years earlier, under Josef von Sternberg, and had little faith in a remake. So, hobbled by a tight budget, Stevens scaled back his ambitious plans but delivered, perhaps even to his own surprise, a superbly crafted and and powerfully sustained work of movie art.

He was lucky that Paramount, edgy about the story, gave him a cast that would guarantee not only good box office but solid performances as well. Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelly Winters take the principal roles, with, in the last third of the movie, extra oomph courtesy of Raymond Burr (in a role that may have nabbed him the Perry Mason franchise).

The jaws of the vise Clift finds himself squeezed into are class and sex. Barely educated, raised by stern members of a religious sect, he luckily (or not) happens to be the shirt-tail nephew of a prosperous entrepreneur who casually offers him work in his factory. Awkward and lonesome, Clift escapes the drudgery of his job by taking up with a mousy co-worker (Winters, toned way down from her platinum-bombshell image at the time). But his nose-to-the-grindstone ways attract the attention of his uncle, who rewards him with a promotion and an invitation up to the manor.

There he meets Taylor and launches an obsession about her, reinforced by a neon sign visible from his window that blazes her surname through his restless nights (she's another child of an industrial fortune, raised in wealth and privilege). Somehow, she falls for him – and, need it be added, he for her – despite his coming from the wrong side of the tracks (she hasn't the faintest notion that for people like him, life may not be the blithe affair it is for her).

Only one inconvenient fact keeps Clift from taking his rightful place in the sun: He's left Winters pregnant. The two worlds he occupies are destined to collide, and crash they do when Winters phones him, in the midst of a Hawaiian-themed luau at Taylor's summer place on the lake, to issue her ultimatum: Marry her or she'll spill their sordid secret. He leaves abruptly to meet Winters, desperately trying to assemble the plan which will seal three fates.

Stevens sustains an overwhelming, ominous momentum, unbroken by even a hint of levity (not even a single bit player is allowed to lapse into shtik). Languorous dissolves and superimposed images heighten the sense of inevitability as each scene, each event glides seamlessly into the next.

Maybe he wasn't able to pile on the exhaustive social commentary that bulked up Dreiser's novel, but everywhere there's sharp detail that he adroitly leaves to be noticed. When Clift shows up hours late at his intimate birthday party in Winter's cramped room, with the tiny table pushed up against her marble washstand, the ice cream has warmed to lumpy syrup (a self-homage to a similar scene in Steven's Alice Adams?). With an island combo playing merrily on, Clift sports a lei and eats pineapple out of its shell when Winters calls to break the spell – and this South-Seas reverie is offered up not as Veblenesque excess, but merely as the way Taylor's crowd spend their days and evenings and nights in an endless round of heedless gaiety.

The apex of the film's crescendo is handled with tight, quiet assurance – the reckoning in a rowboat upon a deserted lake. Dusk gathers among the pines like fog, the loons call back and forth, and the rippling waves reflect a demented flash into Clift's eye as he wrestles with his conscience. Winters natters nervously about the dreary life they'll spend together while his head swims with luminous visions of Taylor. Then, destiny catches.... Romantic but unsentimental, serious but without pretension, gripping without stooping to the manipulative, A Place in the Sun ranks as a masterpiece of American cinema.
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Cinematic joy.
hitchcockthelegend8 November 2008
George Eastman takes up friendly offer from his uncle to go work in the highly prosperous Eastman bathing-suit factory. Formerly a bell hop at a hotel, and born out of a relatively poor, but religiously devout home, George is spellbound by how the upper crust live. As he starts to climb the social ladder he becomes besotted with his cousin's beautiful partner, Angela Vickers. While at the same time neglecting his girlfriend and mother of his unborn child, Alice Tripp. The outcome of George's confused emotions will have devastating effects on everyone involved...

A Place In The Sun is one of those revered, yet seemingly divisive classic pictures that I believe deserves every bit of praise heaped upon it. Based on the Theodore Dreiser novel, An American Tragedy {and the Patrick Kearney play}, it's a slow simmering piece that boasts technical greatness and a class division script that is intriguingly shrouded by a real life sad story. The book and subsequent film versions {Josef von Sternberg filmed an adaptation in 1931} are working from the real case of Chester Gillette and his girlfriend, Grace Brown. To expand further would result in major spoilers but it's a case that is readily available to anyone with internet access. Here with this adaptation, director George Stevens {sublime direction} has gathered all the things available to him and crafted a Gothic, almost dreamy, classic amongst classics. The source, and Sternberg's take on the novel may well be more stark and grimly oppressive, but this has such high cinema values it positively begs you to invest your very being with it.

The story behind the scenes is itself worthy of a movie, Stevens clashing constantly with Montgomery Clift {Eastman} and Shelley Winters {Tripp}, Clift because he would only take motivation from his personal coach, Mira Rostova, and Winters because Stevens had never wanted her cast in the first place! Then there is the Elizabeth Taylor {Angela Vickers} factor, blissfully unaware of Clift's burgeoning homosexuality, she reciprocated Clift's adoration of her by falling for him big time, the results, all captured by Stevens, are akin to being put under a spell that you simply can't turn away from. Montgomery Clift was one of the best actors of his generation, here in spite of a secretly confused emotional state, the sparks that ping off Taylor and himself are the kind that few lauded chemistry couples in movie history have ever gotten close too. Monty Clift is worth every penny or cent that is spent to watch him perform, here is yet another performance of emotional oomph to only confirm his standing as a true giant of American actors.

Academy Awards went to Best Director, Best Screenplay {Michael Wilson & Harry Brown}, Best Cinematography {William Mellor}, Best Costume Design {Edith Head}, Best Editing {William Hornbeck} and Best Score {Franx Waxman}, all of them deserved, with Waxman's score one of the true greats of 50s cinema, a character in itself and something to totally lose yourself in. Clift & Winters were both nominated in the Best actor/Actress categories respectively, and really in any other year they surely would have won, while the film itself was also nominated for Best Film. Ultimately it's the story itself that makes A Place In The Sun such a beguiling viewing, it's love divided by classes, no middle ground here, it's the rich and beautiful on one side, on the other is the plain and poor, the result is a majestic piece of cinema. 10/10
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Ahead of it's time and deserving of all praise.
SmileysWorld10 November 2006
This film is very different from anything of it's time that I have ever seen.A man has a one night stand with a coworker and gets her pregnant.THEN he meets the woman of his dreams,the woman with everything;charm,good looks and Daddy's money.We then have a man who is torn between choosing to have it all and doing the right thing.The result of his struggles ends up very tragically as you will see.I was very taken aback by the film's sexual overtones,though it was only hinted at,of course.With the barrage of remakes in recent years,I am surprised it has not been remade with stronger sexual content.This is a very enjoyable film with good performances all around,particularly those of Shelley Winters and Monty Clift.Liz Taylor's strong screen presence is also a delight.A definite thumbs up.
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A Place in Movie History
edwagreen2 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Standout film which was a remake of An American Tragedy with the late Sylvia Sidney.

The film was remade in 1951 with Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters.

The culture of rich vs. poor is explored in this film. Lonely drifter Clift meets Ms. Winters first and then in a chance meeting, meets the wealthy Ms. Taylor. Her wealth and position in society is what most affects Clift.

Eager to leave Shelley, he soon discovers that she is pregnant. This part, as the impoverished pregnant girl with nowhere to go, was the best part and performance by Miss Winters. We feel for her as she tries to maintain a grip on the Clift character. She brings to the part a nervousness rarely seen in motion pictures. Had she been nominated for best supporting actress, she would have possessed 3 Oscars in that category. Instead, she was nominated for lead actress and lost to Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Clift is perfect as the drifter;he was Oscar nominated for it. His scenes in the court, where he maintains that the drowning of Miss Winters was an accident, are real and leave a vivid reminder in the minds of the viewers.

The film also marked a breakout performance for Miss Taylor. Up until then, possibly with the exception of 1949's Elephant Walk, her roles were mostly childish in non-dramatic films.

The viewer is put in the moral dilemma of whether or not Clift made an attempt to save the drowning Ms. Winters. Capital punishment becomes a question as always.

Anne Revere is effective in an all too brief role as Clift's bible-reading mother.

All emotional stops are put out in the final scene when Taylor visits a condemned Clift in prison.

****. A superb production.
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Stevens took a sensitivity that hadn't been used since "Jane Eyre."
Nazi_Fighter_David31 January 2009
This is a movie about George Eastman (Clift), a young, gentle laborer without social standing who longs for the better things in life…He is swept off his feet after a chance encounter with wealth, success and upper-class snobbery…

George is introduced to a stunning socialite Angela Vickers (Liz Taylor—never so beautiful) full of sensual delight and threatened by an unattractive factory girl (Alice) he's already made pregnant… Angela and George fall deeply in love, but Alice Tripp (Winters) presses and chases George until he agrees to marry her… He has a desperate decision, but hesitates… Finding they can't get married over the Labor Day weekend, George takes Alice boating…

Shelley Winters was extraordinary as the distressed co-worker… She made the wronged employee an understandable reaction to human dimensions… As she sits in the rowboat, unconsciously torturing Clift with her thoughts of their future together, Winters is both pathetic and annoying—a special candidate to get rid of…

The impact of the film depends absolutely on a moral climate that has now less impact on our society… Pre-marital sex is no longer disapproved and abortions are easier to obtain… But the film's power resided in its exceptionally convincing depiction of the points and questions created by these situations…

"A Place in the Sun" was nominated for nine Academy Awards, and won six
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As a Film, This is Haunting, Tragic Romanticism...
Don-1024 April 1999
George Stevens' A PLACE IN THE SUN is a poetic film, filled with tender moments, sadness, and pending doom. Having not read the book, I had the pleasure of seeing the material for the first time, which is preferable if you see a film based on a "classic" novel. Montgomery Clift is his usual mysterious self as he has a scandalous relationship with the homely Shelly Winters and falls instantly in love with a spellbindingly beautiful Liz Taylor, who was only 19 when the picture was made. She glows with energy and a sense of optimism about life, a stark contrast to Clift, whom Taylor has also fallen for. Rumor has it they had an actual affair while making the movie. This is not for all tastes, for it is slow, and Clift is not all that appealing. The idea of dropping a lesser life (with Winters) and pursuing the good life with Taylor is what makes it work and the lengths to which Clift will go are staggering.

George Stevens has a gift for "painting" a movie on-screen. Just see GIANT, also with Taylor, or SHANE, the other two parts of his "American Trilogy". The scenes on the lake and the way the mood of the movie is painted is quite simply amazing. He also uses slow dissolves that leave a ghostly image on-screen between scenes. This all adds to the atmospheric touch of tragedy that will ensue. Poor Shelly Winters. She always gets a raw deal in films. There are times when you almost sympathize with Clift. Imagine living the life of a socialite with the girl of your dreams and a good job with your family. A life with Winters would be dismal according to Clift and us. What's right is right, however. An unnecessary court room saga closes the picture to ensure the viewer's sense of justice. This must've been pretty controversial stuff back in the early-50's

A PLACE IN THE SUN truly is an American tragedy, a portrait of young lives gone wrong with post-WWII optimism as a backdrop. Clift and Taylor shine together, and provide film fans with a romance never to be forgotten. The finale is emotionally draining during Taylor's expression of undying love. Unfortunately, Clift cannot have it all. A beautiful piece of classical Hollywood film-making with a mix of method acting (Clift) and a love story we wish could work.

RATING: 8 of 10
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Clift at his peak! Taylor gorgeous!
guil1230 December 1999
Warning: Spoilers
Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor shine in this adapted Theodore Dreiser novel AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY. Clift does his finest work in this film showing his sensitivity and incredible good looks, making the role of George Easton brilliant. He is thorough throughout the movie. His quiet honesty as an actor comes off superbly. He must had affected Liz Taylor for she gives her most honest work in her career. Usually the glamour gal, but now with substance and simplicity as Angela Vickers the pretty rich girl. Add to this Shelley Winters in a different kind of role. Departing from her typical wise dame acting, Shelley, as Alice Tripp, a simple plain girl of poor class, comes off wonderfully in a very difficult role. I hear she had to audition for the director to prove she could act the part. Of course, years later, she and Liz both won several Oscars for thir work. Monty, although nominated many times, and for this film, never won the coveted award. George Stevens directs this romantic tragedy, bringing out the excellent work of his actors. I liked the way he used the camera. (The close up of Clift and Taylor's first kiss, on the balcony at a dance, was worth the price of admission) To see the two most beautiful eyes, in Movieland. in a close up as they come together, was breathtaking. Add to that the haunting score by Victor Young or Franz Waxman or both and you have a

very beautiful film, well acted and directed. Stevens' use of fading from one scene to another, often having a double exposure shot of both scenes at the same time, was brilliant and often reminded you of the pending tragedy that was unfolding. Quick synopsis: George, from a poor background, leaves home and his mother, a sort of Salvation Army sufferer (played by that austere and stone-faced Anne Revere) comes to work for his uncle in a swim suit factory. He starts at the bottom as a box sorter and meets along the way a girl who also works at the plant, Alice Tripp. Eventually he gets her in the sack. He finally gets invited to the boss's house to a dance and meets the rich and pretty Angela. He falls for her and she for him. Upon returning to Alice he learns she's pregnant, a fact that is tabboo at the plant. What to do! Easy .. eliminate Alice by drowning her in a lake. In a tense and well played scene in the boat on the lake, George changes heart and begins to row back when Alice in an attempt to be near George tips the boat and drowns anyway. Was it on purpose or was it an accident? That's the big question that is challenged in George's trial after he is acccused of murder. Of course, not until the trial did Angela have any knowledge of George and Alice. George is convicted and sentenced to the electric chair. There's a wonderful quiet scene between Monty and Liz in the prison cell. Only down fall, to me, was Raymound Burr's over-the-hill acting as the prosecuting attorney. He should have done some of his Perry Mason work, but that hadn't happened yet. This early 50s film still holds up on VHS and Classic TV viewing. To add to this review, about two weeks after the film opened, I met Clift in a bar on Third Avenue in NYC with friends and had a wonderful evening in conversation with him. He talked about Taylor and the movie and his up and coming film, THE HEIRESS.
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When Social Worlds Collide
Lechuguilla28 August 2006
Poor and uneducated George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) unwittingly sets a trap for himself when he takes an entry-level job at his rich uncle's factory, which has a prohibition on male employees dating female employees. He just can't resist one of the girls in his department, the pitiful and whiny Alice Tripp (wonderfully played by Shelley Winters). Eventually, George gets a promotion and is invited into the upper echelon of his uncle's social world, where he meets wealthy and beautiful Angela Vickers (a breathless Elizabeth Taylor). Naturally, he falls in love with Angela. But a complication with Alice leaves him unable to break off his relationship with her.

That's the setup for this George Stevens-directed film that plays rather like a modern Greek tragedy. Everything about "A Place In The Sun" is high quality: the production design, the lavish Edith Head costumes, the wonderful editing, and that great B&W cinematography with those marvelous close-up shots, and overlapping dissolves that cleverly advance the plot.

All three principal actors do a splendid job. And they get solid support from a top notch secondary cast that includes Raymond Burr and the interesting Anne Revere.

The story clearly plays up social class differences, with the haughty rich looking down their noses at common workers. The film's tone varies from romantic, to sad, to suspenseful. At mysterious Loon Lake where significant events occur, the cinematic atmosphere is heavy with anticipation. It's like something out of a Hitchcock thriller.

I've never cared much for sad love stories, and the film does seem a tad dated. Still, it's so well made it can be appreciated by most everyone but the terminally shallow. It has a powerful ending, one that accentuates the acting accomplishments of Clift and especially of Taylor. "A Place In The Sun" was nominated for nine academy awards, and winner of six. I'd say this is one time when Oscar voters got it right.
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The Truth Has A Way Of Sneaking Up On You
ccthemovieman-130 November 2005
This 1950s melodrama was an interesting, involving story. It's part film-noir, too, which I liked. I say that because the last third of the film featured an expectation of some dreaded act about to be committed, giving it a film noir feel.

One thing for sure, whatever you label the movie: it's well-acted, well-directed and well-photographed. Regarding the latter, this really looks good on DVD. No surprise it's directed well since George Stevens was the director. His resume speaks for itself.

Obviously Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor are the "big names" in this film, but I found Shelly Winters and the character she played to be the most intriguing. She wasn't really appealing yet one could certainly identify with her feelings of insecurity with Taylor as her competition. "Liz" was in in her prime, looks-wise, with an absolutely classic face.

Anyway, watching the character studies of the antsy Winters and the troublesome Clift were interesting. Clift, as is the case with most of us, causes his own problems and things slowly unravel for him. The story is another example of what can happen when one tries to cover up the truth. It comes back to bite you, big-time!

I really found it refreshing, however, to see Clift's attitude at the end. It's the exact opposite of what you hear today. He actually takes responsibility for his actions.
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As someone who DID read the book first...
Doylenf23 August 2001
I can only say that George Stevens' version of Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy" is not what I envisioned when I read the book. Therefore, I came away disappointed at the screen treatment with Liz Taylor (beautiful but shallow), Montgomery Clift (beautiful but shallow) and poor Shelley Winters looking like a drab little wren. An air of artificiality hangs over every scene, every slow-moving scene, and only increases by the time the story arrives at the courtroom climax where an unrestrained Raymond Burr is allowed to chew the scenery.

This is NOT the great picture everyone always says it is. It's one of those films that dates badly. Evidently, fans of Liz Taylor and Monty Clift are starry-eyed about their favorite actors and refuse to see the weaknesses in the plodding story and the thinly sketched characters. Elizabeth Taylor had much better roles in her future career (Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Giant) and Montgomery Clift would make an unforgettable Morris Townsend in The Heiress. Their acting here is as self-conscious as the arty camerawork that frames them in huge romantic close-ups.

The novel had much more depth and meaning than this watered down version of the story. Read it and you will wonder what all the fuss was about when "A Place in the Sun" was released. Vastly overrated and noteworthy only for the sincere performance of Shelley Winters and Franz Waxman's interesting background score.
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The brilliance of George Stevens
princy25 June 2000
A Place in the Sun first caught my attention in an article I had read about Montgomery Clift. Even though the article went into no great depth about explaining the plot or story-line of the film, what was written about it was rather favourable. I decided to have a look at some reviews and even some viewer comments on the IMDb to get a better idea of what the film was about, and to see what other people thought of it. Based on what I found written about it I decided that I might be interested in looking at it, even though it sounded suspiciously like another Hollywood love story.

The film turned out to be one of the best dramas I have ever seen, in fact it was so good that not even Elizabeth Taylor's mediocre talent could ruin it. The characterizations and story line were outstanding, far surpassing those of George Steven's other masterpieces, Shane and Giant. This was one of those rare movies, another being 'Dead Man Walking' where I found myself not knowing whether or not to feel sympathy for the main character, which I imagine was exactly the audience impartiality that Stevens was aiming for.

There is more than one theme prevalent in this movie which makes it so good, the main one centering on love breaking through social barriers, not an uncommon theme, but well executed. There is also an underlying theme of betrayal which is offsets the former theme and is what makes this movie such a success.

Even though the movie is centred on the characters of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor, it is Shelley Winters that steals the show. Winters performance is flawless, successfully gaining sympathy for her character, which in turn is what creates a confliction of feelings for the audience towards the main character.

An absolute must see
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Read the book first?
law_rie30 May 1999
To Hell with the book! That's the old cliche about ANY movie...if you've read the author's version and have your own mind's eye scenario firmly in place, almost NO movie will ever compete. However, movies are made to bring the mass audience to a (sometimes) great literary work that would otherwise be relegated to obscurity. "Loved the book...hated the movie...yadda, yadda, yadda". In any case, George Stevens' adaptation of this novel is a magnificent piece of filmmaking. The sheer "beauty" of Clift and Taylor in their prime, doomed to an unachievable fruition of their romance due to the difference in "class" and Clift's apparently deliberate failure to save the life of his frumpy little girlfriend (Shelley Winters in a thankless role)is heartwrenching.....star-crossed lovers in the Romeo and Juliet vein. The sub-title of the book "An American Tragedy" is certainly appropriate. I agree the movie takes a rather LONG time to get to it's denoument, and Raymond Burr is WAY over the top as the film-ending prosecutor. However, you will NEVER see two young actors as tragic and beautiful as Montgomery and Elizabeth...when she says "Tell mamma...tell momma all" and Monty clutches her towards him and almost brutally clamps a big kiss while the camera circles...oh my!! Of course, the REAL tragedy was that, off screen, Elizabeth was MAD for Monty and was even prepared to put up with his bisexuality. Wouldn't they have made a great looking couple at film openings, the Oscars, etc.? But I digress...the stark black and white photography, great background music and fabulous acting (particularly by the stage-trained and film-cautious Monty in a fish-out-of-water role)adds up to a memorable viewing experience. If this one doesn't tear your heart out, you HAVE no heart!!!
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Tragic, Troubling & Touching
seymourblack-121 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"A Place In The Sun" is a dark tragedy in which one man's pursuit of success and romance leads to an incident which ultimately has a devastating effect on the lives of all three of the story's main characters. The screenplay by Harry Brown and Michael Wilson was based on Theodore Dreiser's novel "An American Tragedy" and is set in a period in which society's rules and attitudes were very much different from those which prevail today.

George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) is the poor nephew of a wealthy factory owner and travels from Chicago to L.A. to take up the offer of employment in his uncle's business which manufactures bathing suits. George is hardworking and makes a good impression but during this period is not entirely comfortable with the other Eastmans because, in their company, he's sharply aware of his humble background. His consequent loneliness is soon relieved, however, when he embarks on a secret relationship with Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters) who works with him on the factory production line.

George's good work is rewarded when he's promoted and invited to a party at his uncle's house. He accepts the invitation even though it clashes with an arrangement he'd previously made to celebrate his birthday with Alice. At the Eastmans' party he retires alone to the billiard room where he's later joined by Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor) who's a bright and pretty society girl. They chat and dance together but later George leaves to return to Alice's place where she gets annoyed at his late arrival and tells him that she's pregnant and he comforts her.

When Angela invites George to a party at her parents' house, the couple enjoy being together and declare their love for each other. Angela has plans to spend the summer at her parents' vacation home by Loon Lake and George subsequently accepts Angela's invitation to spend some time there after telling Alice that he'll be with his uncle and is likely to be offered a bonus which will benefit them both. Alice soon recognises what's going on however, when she sees a newspaper photograph of Angela and George having fun together at the lake. Alice responds by threatening to expose the truth about their relationship unless George agrees to marry her without delay. The way in which he deals with this ultimatum leads to an incident on the lake and to him eventually being arrested on a murder charge.

The events in "A Place In The Sun" happen at a time when being pregnant and unmarried was considered to be shameful, legal abortion was not available and anyone in Alice's predicament could find themselves cruelly stigmatised for years. With the stakes so high it's understandable why she became so fearful and angry at George's uncertainty and reluctant agreement to getting married.

In a society in which respect and success mostly seem to be measured in direct proportion to the level of a person's wealth, it's also understandable how George, an unskilled and poorly educated young man who came from an impoverished background would instinctively reach for the best of everything that was made available to him. He was ambitious but not ruthless and this combination of qualities makes him react to his problems in a more complex, confused and interesting way than might otherwise be expected.

Angela Vickers had enjoyed a privileged upbringing during which her life had been very uncomplicated and frivolous. Her relationship with George had also developed at a time when she was unaware of his involvement with Alice and she was therefore, not at all well equipped emotionally to come to terms with what happened to him.

Elizabeth Taylor is scintillating and self confident in her role and Shelley Winters is convincing and skilled in how well she portrays Alice's transformation from an ordinary working class girl into someone who becomes very scared, angry and needy. Montgomery Clift is incredibly powerful in the way in which he conveys all the turmoil, confusion and anxiety that his character goes through as he tries to come to terms with the conflicts that arise when the pursuit of his ambitions becomes incompatible with the responsibility that he has to Alice. Similarly, the soul searching that he goes through towards the end of the movie is also depicted in a very sensitive and haunting way.

Appropriately, for such a tragic and troubling tale, the mood of the film is often sombre with the use of effective close-ups heightening the intensity of what's happening on screen. The use of shadows is also impressive in many scenes such as the one where Alice gets into a car with George after visiting the doctor. At a time when she's feeling trapped and desperate, the area around her face is visible but the remainder of the screen is symbolically totally engulfed in shadow.

"A Place In The Sun" is an absorbing and touching film which has clearly deserved all the popularity and critical success that it's achieved over the years.
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Miss Taylor before the....
nutinpersonal29 March 2003
booze, before the drugs, before the countless tragedies and health scares. What I enjoyed most about this movie was not only Elizabeth Taylor's extraordinary beauty, (as well as that of the Lake Tahoe, California area), but also seeing Elizabeth when her way of speaking was still pleasant and easy on the ear. Before she got that kind of hard edge probably brought about from substance abuse. She has always been a gorgeous woman on the outside, but here you see her when she seems to absolutely glow from inner beauty, as well. I could have gone on watching forever.
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A Closer Look at Two Key Themes
dougdoepke8 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Outstanding example of Hollywood craftsmanship, attention to detail, and sheer romanticism. The film takes up two key themes in American life--- class and morality, treating each with uncommon care. Consider the opening scene of the indigent George (Clift) standing roadside while cars whiz past, much as life seems to be brushing him aside. Mocking him at the same time is a billboard with a provocative girl advertising the Good Life. No wonder he rushes to his rich uncle Eastman's mansion where he hopes to join the fast cars and the beautiful girl, if he dare to hope so.

That scene of his entering the mansion's huge reception room is to me one of the movie's best. In his cheap, wrong color suit, George couldn't be more self-conscious. How will the rich Eastmans' receive him, in their fancy party clothes ready for a night on the town. In fact, they are oh, so, polite, while keeping a social distance. After all, he does come from the poor family branch, his mother giving her life over to religious pursuits instead of money. For his brief visit, at least he gets a job on an Eastman assembly line. The scene itself is beautifully staged and performed, while Clift is simply terrific here as the uncertain, poor relation, all deference and submission.

For awhile it looks like the cars will continue to whiz by as he repeats the same deadening moves on the assembly line. But at least he has someone now to share time with. Alice (Winters) is a dowdy working girl across from him. Lonely, they soon get together. But now life gets complicated for George. Suddenly, one day, he's promoted to administration; at the same time, he's invited to a party at the mansion. Eagerly, he attends, this time dressed appropriately and ready to please, but he's still bypassed by other guests. Then, in another memorable scene, lightning again strikes in the form of the beauteous Angela (note the classy name), who suddenly enters his solitary billiards room where he has retreated, friendless. Can it be, as they banter, that she's taking a real fancy to him with all her upper class ways. An unmistakable glow begins to emerge on screen, and it's a tribute to both Taylor and Clift that their chemistry is both vivid and compelling in this key scene that sets the stage for what follows. Now, it seems, a whizzing car has stopped for him and all he has to do is get in.

But back at the rooming house waiting for him is Alice. Not just a reminder of the roadside life he'd like to leave, she's pregnant and insisting on marriage. So, on one hand, he's got the frumpy, working class Alice, alone and pregnant, and on the other, a budding romance with the glitzy, upper class Angela, who's opened the door to the billboard life he could only dream of. What's George to do. Then, in a gutsy scene for the repressed 1950's, Alice is sent to a doctor (Wolfe) for what, by inference only, is an abortion. The writers do a clever job getting her purpose across without violating the Production Code's prohibition on such frank talk. Nonetheless, the doctor firmly refuses, leaving both George and Alice in a real pickle.

With his religious background, George still has a conscience even if he's deeply in love with Angela and drawn to her materialistic world. Thus, the question is which direction he will go in-- will he do the morally right thing and marry Alice or will he succumb to the pull of a glamorous life with Angela. In short, which is stronger: moral duty or romantic love.

In a moment of moral weakness, George plans to relieve his dilemma by drowning Alice in a lake, seemingly the only recourse left open to a life with Angela. But fate (the call of the loon) intervenes and Alice accidentally tips over the small boat they're in. Importantly, the camera withdraws at that point to a distance shot so that we cannot see exactly what happens next. But Alice ends up dead by drowning, just as George had planned when giving false names to the boat rental. However, having escaped, George is now torn by a sense of guilt even as he and Angela plan to marry, the whizzing car door now open wide. But, it's at that fateful point, the cops put various clues together and arrest George for murder.

But is he really guilty. We can't be sure since we never saw the exact events. It seems not even George is sure. If nothing else, at this point George is trying to come to grips with what his intention was vs. what actually happened in the water. Could he have saved her as the DA contends at George's trial. She couldn't have been far away, then why didn't he. George seems unclear himself. In a melodramatic moment, the DA (Burr) claims George struck Alice with a paddle, thereby insuring her death. But that is clearly wrong since we know what happened in the boat. But the jury apparently buys it, otherwise how could they sentence him to first-degree murder. Thus, the car door closes on George forever.

The question is-what is George really guilty of. Is it just the intention but not the act itself. Or is it the act in some ill-defined sense. The movie settles for being guilty of a wrong thought at a crucial moment. That may be blameworthy in some metaphysical sense, but certainly doesn't justify his execution. As things stand George's sentence stands as a miscarriage of justice. In that sense the movie turns out to be a tragedy, particularly for Alice whose only crime is being poor and frumpy. The moral, I guess, is that what may seem an up- spiral may actually be its ironical opposite.

Anyway, it's a brilliantly sensitive, thought provoking movie, deserving of its many awards.
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A beautiful romance
Arkaan4 September 1999
Montgomery Clift shines in the best role of the movie. He plays a George Eastman, going to work at his uncle's bathing suit factory. Their, he meets Alice Tripp, and they fall in love. Meanwhile, Eastman sees, and falls in love with Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor, who is absolutely gorgeous).

The title of the book was An American Tragedy, which is true. The close-ups of Clift and Taylor on the dance floor are amazing, and the use of Franz Waxman's music is incredible. Taylor and Shelley Winters give great performances, but it's Clift's the holds this together. He was nominated as Best Actor, the only one who stood a chance at beating Marlon Brando in Streetcar named Desire. Interestingly enough, they both lost to Humphrey Bogart.

The only flaw would Raymond Burr's performance as the prosecutor, and the court room scene. It has so many mistakes, and oddities.
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Hollywood's greatest film ever!

'A Place in the Sun' is, for my quids, the greatest movie ever made in Hollywood. The film is a reworking of Dreiser's novel 'An American Tragedy' (filmed previously), which in turn is based on a real murder case. In 1905, a young man named Chester Gillette, a supervisor in a skirt factory in upstate New York, began an affair with Grace Brown, an ill-paid employee in the factory. The affair led to Brown becoming pregnant, presumably by Gillette. He strung her along for a while, assuring her that he intended to marry her but insisting that she not tell anyone else. In the summer of 1906, Gillette lured Brown to a remote lake, where he killed her. Overwhelming evidence showed that the murder was premeditated and planned in detail. Gillette was convicted and executed.

Although the real-life case is well-known, chroniclers continue to get it wrong by turning the ill-fated relationship into a triangle. Dreiser's novel introduced a wealthy society girl who became attracted to the Gillette character: seeing a chance to enter high society by marrying her, Gillette supposedly perceived Grace Brown as an obstacle to his entree to wealth. This is simply not true; there was no 'other woman' in the original case, although tabloid reporters tried to link Gillette romantically with several local debutantes.

Montgomery Clift gives the best performance of his career as the Griffiths character, here named George. Shelley Winters, whom I usually dislike, is deeply impressive and sympathetic here as Alice, the simple working girl who's been seduced and traduced. Winters has a deeply moving scene when the pregnant Alice desperately asks a doctor to help her 'take care of' (abort) her unborn child.

Less impressive is Angela the society girl, played by Elizabeth Taylor. We're meant to like her, yet she behaves irresponsibly. When a highway cop gives Angela the latest in a long series of speeding tickets, she laughingly declares that her rich daddy will pay the fine, as usual. I can't respect anybody with that attitude. While this film was in production, Taylor was married to Nicky Hilton, her first husband and the frivolous playboy scion of the Hilton hotel fortune. There's now (as I write this) another frivolous Hilton heir who's making headlines for irresponsible behaviour, and I don't see why I'm supposed to admire people whose bank balances exceed their IQs.

Another thing that baffles me about 'A Place in the Sun' is Taylor's famous line to Clift: 'Tell mama. Tell mama all.' For some reason, this keeps showing up on lists of all-time great movie lines. Yet the line doesn't excite me, and the camera isn't even on Taylor's face for most of the line.

But, ah, that camera! Director George Stevens and his brilliant cinematographer William C. Mellor use multiple lap dissolves here. How many films can you name in which a shot begins AND finishes with two separate lap dissolves? How many films can you name in which this effect WORKS, rather than just being an attention-getting device? The photography is excellent throughout, aided by Bill Hornbeck's taut editing. I was deeply impressed by an overhead shot of a marsh bird, during the murder sequence.

There are many great things in 'A Place in the Sun', but the greatest is its moral complexity. At the climax, George lures Alice to the remote lake; we know he's intending to kill her. But now, unexpectedly, he tells her his intentions and declares he's changed his mind. (This was also done in the previous film version.) What's happening here? Has George really reclaimed his conscience, or has he merely lost his nerve? We never learn which it is. And now the boat capsizes, and Alice drowns ... exactly as if George had murdered her deliberately.

The courtroom sequences are harrowing. Ted de Corsia, who usually played coarse thugs, is a brave casting choice as the judge. Also an interesting choice is Fred Clark -- an actor usually associated with comedy roles -- as the defence attorney.

The moral complexity comes home to roost in a quiet, powerful scene between convicted murderer George and the prison chaplain. (Another surprising casting choice: the chaplain is played by Paul Frees, best known for voicing cartoon characters.) Reverend Morrison asks George what his emotions were at the moment when Alice died, then explains the situation. If George felt *relief* at Alice's death, or any positive reaction, then -- from a moral standpoint -- he is just as guilty of murdering her as if he had actually done the deed.

Wow! It's not often that Hollywood movies address the morality of a situation, especially one as complex as murder. In a typical Hollywood movie, the nearest they get to a moral debate is a gunfight. The last scene, with George walking to his execution, is deeply haunting ... although I was sceptical that, in 1951, an American murderer would be on an all-white Death Row. What a powerful film. I'll rate 'A Place in the Sun' 10 out of 10, only because the scale doesn't go any higher.
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In the eddies and wakes of a boat on Big Moose Lake
theowinthrop8 June 2005
In 1906 there resided in upstate New York a young man named Chester Gillette. Mr. Gillette was good looking and ambitious, and hoped to better his social and financial situation by family connections and a socially advantageous marriage to a wealthy young woman. But Gillette had been dating Grace Brown, a farmer's daughter, and Brown found out she was pregnant. She insisted that Gillette marry her, or she would reveal what he did to her. Gillette arranged for her to meet him at a resort at Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks, but they were to go there separately, and he made sure they were not seen together too much. Actually they were seen many times together - like many schemers Gillette thought he had accomplished his intentions but actually had failed to do so.

He took Grace out on a boat, supposedly to enjoy the quiet pleasures of the lake. Something occurred in that boat - we will never know for certain. The majority of us feel certain that Chester hit Grace with either an oar or a tennis racket, knocking her unconscious into the water, so that she drowned. However, he always maintained she hit her head after upsetting the boat, on the overturned boat. We just don't know. Chester's behavior after the accident was that of a skulking coward, not revealing himself to the authorities or seeking assistance, but trying to get back to his room at a local hotel to get his luggage. He was arrested within a few days, and a trial took place that became nationally prominent. At the end of the trial, Chester Gillette was convicted of first degree murder. After an appeal failed, Chester was electrocuted in 1908.

Roughly seventeen years later, Theodore Dreiser was considering his next literary project. Dreiser's social views were left of center, and he wanted to write a novel that tore open the materialist center of American social values. It was to be based on a famous homicide case that was based on misguided attempts at social advancement. Dreiser looked at several cases (another one was a notorious 1911 case, the murder of Avis Linnell in Massachusetts, by Reverend Charles Richeson - the Reverend poisoned Miss Linnell who stood in his way to an advantageous marriage). Dreiser decided the story of Chester Gillette fit the bill. It was to tell (in fictional form, of course) the background of the case, the social pressures that lead to the main event, and the trial of the hero as well as his condemnation and execution. Changing the name of the hero to Clyde Griffiths (note the same initials as Chester's), published the novel as an attack on the misguided social clawing and status seeking in our capitalist society. As such it was entitled "An American Tragedy".

The novel was a success (perhaps Dreiser's masterpiece). He helped dramatize it in the late 1920s, and in 1931 it was filmed for the first time as by Joseph Von Sternberg. But much was cut out of that version, and Dreiser was so upset he sued Paramount and Von Sternberg (and lost the case). That film version, with Phillips Holmes as Clyde, and Sylvia Sidney as the doomed girl, was actually quite good on its own merits.

In 1947 Dreiser died. In 1951 George Stevens assembled the production staff and cast, including Monty Cliff, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Taylor, Raymond Burr, Fred Clark, and Keefe Brazzell. It is a wonderfully rich and good film, showing the shocking underside of the American dream (just as Dreiser would have hoped). The central figure is no longer Clyde Griffiths but George Eastman, but Monty Cliff shows how a basically hard working young man is destroyed pursuing his dream of success. And again, the film properly leaves the central issue - did Chester/Clyde/George kill his girlfriend, and try to make it look like an accident, or did he change his mind, but there was an accident, or did he panic when in the water, and fail to save her. Was it a moral crime rather than a factual one?

Raymond Burr's performance, in the part of the local district attorney, is one of the two movie roles (the other is Lars Thorwald in REAR WINDOW) that people recall if not thinking of his great television career. As the District Attorney, Burr (usually typecast as villains) actually is a heavy, but one with a moral mission. He is certain that this was murder, pure and simple, and he is going to avenge poor Shelley Winters. His performance when cross examining Cliff is a marvel, particularly the moment he bares down on the spot Winters was sitting at with an oar and smashes it. It has been called over the top, but it is deservedly over the top. And I suspect it was also important for Burr's future career as well. It was a great way for him to demonstrate his strength appearing as a courtroom gladiator. I am certain that when casting for the Perry Mason series occurred a few years later, the producers recalled what a splendid job Burr did here when considering hiring him. The rest was television history.
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nicholas.rhodes19 November 2001
A place in the sun is one of the most Romantic films ever produced and the beauty of Elizabeth Taylor is just beyond belief. I remember seeing the film when I was very young and without remembering the title remembered only ET's beauty. M Clift is beautiful as well and presumably Shelley Winters is made to look especially ugly, notably when she calls Eastman from the bus station and "orders" him to come and collect her or she will reveal all. Plastically very beautiful the film is also an interesting study on the notion of "guilt" . Eastman sets out to kill Tripp, does everything including lying to get her out on the boat and then "can't go through" with it. The boat turns over and we don't really see what becomes of Tripp, nor do we see Eastman trying to save her. The way events are presented in the trial, even if we are supposed to assume that Eastman "didn't want to go through with it" makes the guilt fall squarely on Eastman's shoulders to a point that even he has difficulty admitting he is innocent. The final scenes with his mother and the minister in the prison cell are very hard to take. Both these personnages seem to consider him guilty and at the end of the film, one is left wondering whether he is guilty or not. It's his intention to murder tripp, rather than the fact that he actually bumped her off which takes him to the electric chair. One therefore poses the question " Is the intention to kill as bad as killing itself"?? Where do you draw the line, when trying to determine the level of guilt, between intention and reality ? Let's face it we don't really see precisely what happens in the boat during those last fateful seconds. Ambiguity is the key word here and Eastman's behaviour and lying obviously lead the jury to condemn him. Away from the sombre side of the story, we have E Taylor's stunning beauty and love for Eastman whatever the cost and whatever he has done. Does love like that really exist. I don't believe so for one single minute, but this is a film and films must make us dream!! And dreaming at least helps to offset the crude reality of life. One last thing, the music of the film is beautiful. I'm sure many people know the music without knowing it's title and where it comes from. Years ago, it was the theme music for a program on French TV called Ciné-cinemas.
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Living the American dream
jotix10020 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
George Eastman, the poor relation of a wealthy family, goes from rags to riches after meeting his rich uncle in Chicago, where he was working as a bellhop. George, with his dark good looks, starts working in his uncle's garment factory, but he has ambitions about how to be part of the wealthy family. We watch him as he goes from the packing area into a more important position. It's his ambition that proves to be his undoing.

Theodore Dreiser, the great American writer, wrote "An American Tragedy" which was published in 1925. The book was a social commentary on the country during those years. Mr. Dreiser was above all, a social reformer; his book dealt with a reality that doesn't appear in the movie. By the way, the book was first adapted as a stage play by Patrick Kearney. When the time came to turn this classic for the screen, the task fell on Josef Von Sternberg to direct the film treatment in 1931.

The book finally got the interest of George Stevens, a Hollywood film director, who up to that point, didn't have great dramatic credentials behind him. Mr. Stevens was a cinematographer first, who later on took to directing. The screen play by Michael Wilson and Harry Brown was typical of the Hollywood of those years. There was so much that could be shown on the screen at the time without arousing the Hays Code people into action.

"A Place in the Sun" was an ambitious project for the film makers. The casting of Montgomery Clift, one of the best actors of that era, proved to be a coup for Mr. Stevens and his team. The young Elizabeth Taylor, in one of her first dramatic roles, added sexual allure to the production, as it's clear the camera adored her as much as it loved Montgomery Clift. Both actors, made them a romantic couple that lured viewers to the theaters. Shelley Winters, was cast as the plain Alice Tripp, who is the pivotal figure in the novel, as well as in the film.

George Eastman, is said to be modeled after Hamlet. It makes perfect sense, as he is an indecisive man whose loneliness, when he first arrives in the town, makes him crave to belong to the social circle of his uncle. When he starts working in the factory, George seeks Alice Tripp for his own pleasure without taking into consideration the terrible consequences of his actions. When Angela, the beautiful, rich, and sophisticated girl, appears, George figures he has to ditch Alice, who is a peasant girl, after all. This turn of events make George hate the loving Alice.

Theodore Dreiser wanted to make a statement about George. How this young man was a victim of the materialistic society he wanted to belong to, as well as pointing to George as a monster that falls prey to his desire to belong to that same society that looked down on him when he first enters it. George learns his lesson too late and he can't escape his fate.

"A Place in the Sun", although superficial, still shows some aspects of the novel. The best thing in the film is Montgomery Clift playing George Eastman. He brought his own brand of intensity into the character and he is at his best in his scenes with Elizabeth Taylor. Shelley Winters did what she could with a role that had limitations. In supporting roles we see Raymond Burr, Keefe Brasselle, Fred Clark, Shepperd Strudwick, and Herbert Heyes, among others.

The other interesting aspect of the film is the great music score by Franz Waxman that blends easily into the background. William Mellor's cinematography, especially the lake sequence, adds luster to the film. George Stevens was lucky in getting all this talent involved in the movie, and although it doesn't say much about what Theodore Dreiser intended to, as an entertainment, it has its merits.
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They Don't Come Any Better Than This!
bsmith555212 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Place in the Sun" will be found on most top 100 lists of the greatest movies of all time, and deservedly so. It has George Stevens a top producer/director and an unbeatable cast right down to the smallest part. The film won several Academy Awards (including best picture and best Director) and was nominated for several more.

The film opens with George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) hitch hiking from Chicago to California. Coming from a religious store front mission family, George is coming to seek employment with his rich uncle's clothing manufacturing firm. He is cautioned not to fraternize with the company's female employees but strikes up a relationship with co-worker Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters).

At a party at the Eastman estate, George meets the beautiful daughter, Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor), of the Eastman's wealthy neighbors. George is immediately smitten with her. Meanwhile Alice learns that she is pregnant and begins to pressure George into marrying her. While on holiday with the Vickers, Alice shows up at the local bus station and demands that George come to her immediately or else she will tell all of her predicament.

George is forced to go to her and agrees to marry her only to find the Court House closed for the Labor Day holiday. George then devises a plan to eliminate Alice. He relents at the last minute but the boat they were in capsizes and the woman drowns. Several witnesses identify George as the the "man in the boat" and he is quickly arrested and charged with murder.

A trial ensues with D.A. Frank Marlowe (Raymond Burr) prosecuting and Bellows (Fred Clark) and Jansen (Walter Sande), attorneys for the defense. Although George has a plausible story, the jury........................................

Elizabeth Taylor was only 17 when this movie was made and this proved to be a breakthrough adult role for her. She was already one of the most beautiful women in the world. The brooding, mysterious method actor Montgomery Clift, at this point, had become a major star and the two would become life long friends. Shelley Winters was de-glamorized for her role and she too proved that she could act.

Raymond Burr's performance as the D.A. could almost be said to have been an audition for his future role as Perry Mason in the long running TV series. I was also impressed by the performance of veteran "B" western actor Walter Sande as defense attorney Art Jansen.

Others in the cast include Anne Revere in a brief appearance as Clift's mother, Herbert Hayes and Katherine Givney as the Eastmans, Shepperd Strudwick and Freda Inescourt as the Vickers, rising star Keefe Brasselle as the Eastman son Earl and veteran heavy Ted DeCorsia as the trial judge.

A true classic in every sense of the word.
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Surprisingly Still a Moving and Amazing Film
MrMovies8428 February 2002
I had mixed feelings going into "A Place in the Sun." I knew ahead of time it was ranked on the AFI's 100 Greatest Films of All Time List (#93), but Leonard Maltin said that much of the film was dated. I was surprised that after a leisurely-paced opening, the film took a surprising turn for the better and never let go. George Stevens' technical mastery is clearly evident, but he also knows when to just let his actors go. The lake scene is almost painfully suspenseful thanks in part to the two venerable actors, Franz Waxman's score, and Stevens' wonderful execution. Montgomery Clift gives an amazingly brilliant performance that I never expected; he is truly one of film's unsung heroes. So even if you are hesitant about checking this one out, I seriously recommend it. Only Raymond Burr's ridiculous courtroom scene is dated; the rest is quintessential Geroge Stevens filmmaking and breathtaking entertainment.
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