Peck is a New York sportswriter who’s on the West Coast on assignment, doing a story about a horse race. He wakes up from a drinking binge during which he had met New York fashion designer Bacall, though he doesn’t recall it. While he struggles to recover from his hangover, she relates the events of the previous evening which included filling his latest story. He notices how beautiful she is, and they begin a brief torrid affair which leads to a hasty marriage. Of course, each is a “fish out of water” in the other’s world, which they begin to discover when they return to New York. Continue reading
From IMDB’s user comments:
THE HAPPY ENDING might not seem special today, and may well seem very dated in some ways, but we must remember this is the pre-DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE era. I’m sure the film seemed pioneering in its day, questioning the role of the traditional housewife and demanding that women are entitled to the same satisfaction and autonomy that men expected. Writer-director Richard Brooks often dealt with social issues and political themes–that he took on women’s issues is no surprise. The film is especially an acting tour-de-force: Jean Simmons as the unsatisfied woman; John Forsythe as the non-understanding but well-meaning husband; Teresa Wright as Simmons’ mother; Dick Shawn and Tina Louise as a miserable couple; Shirley Jones as the woman who survived by having affairs with married men; Lloyd Bridges as a married man with Jones as his mistress; Bobby Darin as a lost and lonely gigolo looking for that one big score. I was also impressed by the film’s structure–with two parallel stories a year apart and various flashbacks all presented in such a way that the details of the relationship’s coming apart are given to us a little at a time, and we are gradually brought to the point where we understand WHY the present state has become what it is. Continue reading
Eccentric Pookie Adams (Liza Minnelli) pursues a quiet entymology student named Jerry (Wendell Burton), who she meets on the bus while travelling to college.
Alan J. Pakula’s debut film offers an insightful exploration into the exhilaration, complications, and devastation of “first love”. Many scenes — such as when Pookie and Jerry are about to make love for the first time — ring remarkably true, and are handled with sensitivity and gentle humor; and Minnelli’s Pookie — while unbelievably irritating at first — quickly becomes sympathetic, as we recognize a little bit of ourselves in her desperation to have a romantic relationship at any cost. Continue reading
Plot Synopsis by Paul Brenner
Attempting to Americanize Greta Garbo to appeal to American audiences (since most of the foreign markets for Hollywood product had been cut off due to World War II), M.G.M.’s Two-Faced Woman succeeded in making Garbo angry enough to announce her retirement from the screen. Two-Faced Woman was Garbo’s final screen appearance, as the legendary actress slipped into a reclusive existence that lasted until her death. This George Cukor romantic comedy casts Garbo as ski instructor Karin Borg Blake. She gives lessons to wealthy American playboy Larry Blake (Melvyn Douglas), and the two fall in love and marry even though Larry has a girlfriend named Griselda Vaughn (Constance Bennett) waiting for him back in New York. Returning to New York, Karin fears that Griselda will win Larry back. In an effort to foil Larry’s imagined dalliance, Karin poses as her own twin sister, Katherine, hoping to get Larry to fall in love with her instead of Griselda. Larry is onto the scheme and plays along with her, pretending to fall in love with Katherine. But this infuriates Karin, who can’t believe that her husband would fall in love with her sister, and she storms back to her ski resort..
Marguerite is a courtesan in Paris. She falls deeply in love with a young man of promise, Armand Duval. When Armand’s father begs her not to ruin his hope of a career and position by marrying Armand, she acquiesces and leaves her lover. However, when poverty and terminal illness overwhelm her, Marguerite discovers that Armand has not lost his love for her. Continue reading
It’s wartime, and young people are rushing into hasty –sometimes unwise – marriages. But not pretty, level-headed Alice. Then she meets Joe, a G.I. on a two-day pass, and falls heart-over-level-head in love. Judy Garland and Robert Walker are sweethearts for the ages in this glowing valentine of a movie directed by Vincente Minnelli (who, to add another layer of radiant romance, was about to marry his leading lady). Continue reading
Plot Synopsis from criterionco.com
Tragic story of a naive prostitute searching for true love in the seediest sections of Rome.
Nights of Cabiria Essay by Federico Fellini
The subject of loneliness and the observation of the isolated person has always interested me. Even as a child, I couldn’t help but notice those who didn’t fit in for one reason or another—myself included. In life, and for my films, I have always been interested in the out-of-step. Curiously, it’s usually those who are either too smart or those who are too stupid who are left out. The difference is, the smart ones often isolate themselves, while the less intelligent ones are usually isolated by the others. In Nights of Cabiria, I explore the pride of one of those who has been excluded.