The director is George Stevens. The lead parts are by Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor.
OK, I didn’t like this one at all and didn’t finish it. It’s really bad. The only good thing about this movie is that Elizabeth Taylor is gorgeous. Especially when she stands completely still and days nothing.
The movie is based on Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, which as everybody here knows I consider to be the great American novel. Dreiser’s book isn’t impossible to bring to the screen. There was a very nice Soviet movie based on it. But the script writers for A Place in the Sun completely botched it. Nothing makes sense. People behave in weird ways for no reason.
And it’s poorly filmed. In the scene where “Alice” (Roberta in the original) tells “George” (Clyde) that she’s pregnant, she’s filmed from the back and we never see her face. The actors all behave like they are from Finland in terms of their extremely subdued affect. They are tortured by flights of sexual fancy but nothing else.
Sexuality is portrayed in a very bizarre way. A very rich and beautiful girl suddenly gets so overcome with desire for some obscure guy she once saw in passing that she hunts him down and practically jumps on him in public. I can see a mature woman in her thirties today doing that, and it’s still a rare woman. But in 1951?
This Montgomery Clift fellow is such a bad actor that even the talentless Taylor looks like an acting genius by his side. But she’s beautiful and has amazing outfits. That’s the only nice thing about the movie. Montgomery Clift would be great for movies about the Italian mafia in New York. But I’m guessing it wasn’t a thing in 1951, right?
I really wanted to finish it because I read that later in the movie an actress appears who was a descendant of Paul Revere. But even that wasn’t enough to entice me to keep watching.