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A Place in the Sun

(DVD - 2001 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Place in the Sun


Item Details

George Stevens' stunning adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's An American tragedy garnered six Academy Awards and guaranteed immortality for screen lovers Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. Clift is a poor young man determined to win a place in respectable society and the heart of beautiful socialite Elizabeth Taylor. Shelley Winters plays the factory girl whose dark secret threatens Clift's professional and romantic prospects. Consumed with fear and desire, Clift is ultimately driven to a desperate act of passion that unravels his world forever.
Title: A place in the sun
[videorecording (DVD)]
Publisher: Hollywood, Calif. :, Paramount Home Video,, 2001.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (121 min.) :,sd., b&w ;,4 3/4 in.
Notes: Based on the novel An American tragedy by Theodore Dreiser and the Patrick Kearney play adapted from the novel.
Originally produced as a motion picture in 1951.
Summary: George Stevens' stunning adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's An American tragedy garnered six Academy Awards and guaranteed immortality for screen lovers Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. Clift is a poor young man determined to win a place in respectable society and the heart of beautiful socialite Elizabeth Taylor. Shelley Winters plays the factory girl whose dark secret threatens Clift's professional and romantic prospects. Consumed with fear and desire, Clift is ultimately driven to a desperate act of passion that unravels his world forever.
Audience: Not rated.
Local Note: AVMYSTERY
ISBN: 0792172841
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Report This Dec 29, 2013
  • Monolith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This love triangle with consequences of scandal, heartache and doom was handled superbly by George Stevens and crew. I was particularly impressed with one metaphoric shot of a dead birch tree immediately following Clift's and Winters' capsize sequence, and Franz Waxman's chaotic score as Monty attempts to evade the cops closing in on him by escaping into the woods... A twenty year old Elizabeth Taylor shows she's no amateur actress here, and complements thirty-somethings Clift and Winters nicely rounding out this classic film. --And on a side-note-- I wonder if Burr's deadpan D.A. role here had any influence in his landing the lead in the upcoming Perry Mason series...

Report This Aug 02, 2013
  • alpaca85 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A Place in the Sun represents the "Golden Era" Hollywood system at it's best. Melodrama, acting and thrills blend seamlessly into what can only be classified as tragedy. It is a film that stubbornly refuses to be pigeonholed into one genre. Is it a mystery? Maybe, but there's too much melodrama for that. A melodrama perhaps, but it's not very soapy. A character piece? No, it's just big enough to feature three characters. So what is it? Yes, it's a tragedy, but apparently in 1951 they classified it as a blockbuster. Today it's about as far away from that term as possible, but back then I suppose they had a very different definition for that word. You see, this isn't a movie about explosions or high stakes thrills. It's a moody, character driven drama. It's about a down on his luck young man who scores a job at his cousins factory. He becomes intoxicated with his family's lifestyle, yet his downbeat beginnings prevent him from becoming one of them. At the factory he hooks up with a lowly factory worker, named Alice, and gets her pregnant. Yet at the same time he is smitten with wealthy socialite Angela Vickers. As she begins to fall for him, Alice's persistence to get married begins to foul his plans and his mind turns to the only option left, murder. In many ways, the whole thing relies on the shoulders of Montgomery Clift. This was his first big, meaty, leading man part, and the film happened to come about in the year where the Method broke through onto the Hollywood screen. Actors like Clift and Marlon Brando both broke through that year. While Brando would prove to be the greater success, in many ways it was Clift that would prove to meld the too worlds best. His performance here is perhaps the best example of this. He really makes you want to root for him, even when the ugly truth is revealed. There's just something so relatable in his face, it's a shame he didn't do more villain roles. Shelley Winters as Anna is very good, but she doesn't get much time to expand on her characters, and thus she comes off as a little one note. Still, in her smallish screen time she still gives you a little pit in your stomach, and when the pivotal moment comes, your heart is torn. Clift is so charming, and Winters is so pitiful, that you can't decide whether murder or acceptance is the way to go. And why is that decision even more complicated is best summed up in two words: Elizabeth Taylor. You see, Taylor has the most cliched performance of all in the film. It's one that's been seen before and even before that, yet for some reason there is something very different about the way Taylor plays her. She makes the fact that spending only a few hours with Clift can make her fall head over heels in love believable. She makes the reason Clift contemplates murder obvious and even comprehensible. There is something wonderfully alluring about Elizabeth Taylor, a point no better proven than here. George Stevens also makes a very strong directorial point here. While most of the cinematography is typical for the time, there are points when the shots seem very modern, such as the parts where the camera shakes Clift's face in intense close-up and stares directly in his eyes. There is also an almost impressionistic moment when Clift takes Winters out on the boat. The way the mist rises up and the way Clift and Winters act make the moment surreal, and reminded me multiple times of Sunrise. This is far from perfect entertainment, but the as golden era of Hollywood goes, this is a shining moment.

Report This Jul 17, 2012
  • SpaceAngel_007 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

In this dynamic and ambitious remake of "An American Tragedy", the overall power that drives this compelling story to its tragic finale comes straight from its 3 principal players, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, and Montgomery Clift.... When viewed by today's standards, the depiction of the idle rich and American morals as they were back in the late 1940s are certainly a curious novelty of sorts, all on their own.

Report This Jul 11, 2012
  • creyola rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A story about a good boy who made bad choices. Elizabeth Taylor is beautiful, Shelley Winters does simpering very well. Montgomery Clift is an incredible actor. This one is definitely worth viewing.

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Report This Dec 29, 2013
  • Monolith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Angela Vickers (at George Eastman's death row cell, where he awaits the electric chair): "...All I know is, I'll go on loving you for as long as I live..." George Eastman: "Love me for the time I have left. Never forget me." (they kiss) Angela Vickers: "Goodbye George. Seems like, we always spend the best part of our time... just saying goodbye."

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