Ralph and Annabell Willart are a feuding couple who are constantly bickering over their worthless, good-for nothing son Berry-Berry. When Berry-Berry begins yet another meaningless love ...
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Harry is a married writer who has an affair with a woman whose husband knows that she is unfaithful. As a result of his work, Harry has trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality ... See full summary »
Henry Tawes is the sheriff in a small town in Tennessee. A man of strong moral fiber, he is always quick to judge others and follows the law zealously. Then he meets Alma, a beautiful young... See full summary »
Ralph and Annabell Willart are a feuding couple who are constantly bickering over their worthless, good-for nothing son Berry-Berry. When Berry-Berry begins yet another meaningless love affair, this time with an older woman named Echo O'Brien, he really gets his parents at each others' throats.Written by
Alex North's haunting musical score was not released as an LP soundtrack album at the time of the film's release. The cues languished in MGM's vault for over forty years until a compact disc issue was finally released by Film Score Monthly. See more »
When Berry-Berry is listening to the radio at his workplace the announcer states "KWFJ" as the call-letters of the radio station. With the exception of KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA, the call-letters of all radio and TV stations east of the Mississippi River begin with "W". See more »
[Clinton has given her a small Christmas gift]
What are they?
Well, they're ballpoint pens.
[looks a little confused]
You're giving me six ballpoint pens?
Mm-hmm. I sent away to the Disabled War Veterans for them. Each one's got your name on it, and I thought maybe you could use a different color for a different outfit.
Well, I declare. If you haven't got the biggest darn heart in the whole wide world.
[goes and hugs him]
That's the most thoughtful thing I've ever got.
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I saw this one when it was first released, responding to some justly deserved positive reviews. Recently Turner Classic Movies showed it and my memories were confirmed: terrific cast beautifully responding to John Frankenheimer's astute direction; impeccable black-and-white cinematography by Lionel Lindon, especially that opening on-location sequence in Key West, Florida; one of Alex North's most apposite scores, not at all too florid (Was any Hollywood composer better at enhancing a story filled with neuroses in full bloom?); and a story whose downward spiral seems inevitable, despite some slight excesses on the part of the scriptwriter.
Minor reservations: Karl Malden's being required to vociferously refer to his son, Berry-Berry, as "The Big Rhinoceros" and as other assorted wildlife creatures (Why? Never really explained and seemingly inappropriate, given Warren Beatty's rather sleek appearance); the given names of the characters played by both Warren Beatty (Berry-Berry) and Eva Marie Saint (Echo O'Brien) - pure flights of fancy on the part of the writer(s), when compared to the more down-to-earth names given the other Midwesterners in the story; the frustration of seeing the doomed character, Echo, often expressing her affection for the younger brother, Clinton, while pathetically succumbing to the brutish abuse of his older brother, Berry-Berry.
But the interplay of all the cast (including some excellent supporting players) makes this somewhat forgotten gem a real must-see. It's one time when Angela Lansbury, running on all cylinders, is easily and compatibly matched by her fellow actors. This one's a keeper!
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