Monday, March 29, 2004

The Movie I Watched Last Night LXXXVIII

A Place in the Sun
Who knew that Elizabeth Taylor was such a hottie? This 1951 film noir billed as a romance for the ages delivers on the noir but languishes in the love department. The slack-grinned and largely passionless Montgomery Clift, a downtrodden member of the otherwise well-to-do Eastman family -- which seems to have made its millions in swimming suits -- gets a job at his uncle's factory and quickly begins to work his way up. First though, he has his way with a fellow worker -- a femme feeble -- on the shop floor. What he found attractive in the frustratingly pasty-faced and frumpy Shelley Winters, I know not, but perhaps proximity proved his downfall. In addition to that hush-hush hug-'em-up -- workers aren't supposed to date -- Clift's character starts making time with Taylor's high-society debutante, a friend of the wealthy Eastman family. They inexplicably fall in love, and it's certainly a better match, but then Winters' character begins to further dig her claws into Clift's character. For good reason, but the "solution" he arrives upon is less that satisfying and, in the end, only distances him from everyone that he might love. Taylor makes for amazingly delicious eye candy, yet I have some cognitive dissonance reconciling her with the ET of today. More early '50s Taylor, please. Meow.

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