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U.S., 1951
Directed by George Stevens
Starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Raymond Burr
Screenplay by Michael Wilson, Harry Brown
Approx. 122 min. DCP.

Montgomery Clift’s poor factory worker is forced to choose between prosperity and passion with rich Elizabeth Taylor or staying with pregnant lower-class girlfriend Shelley Winters. The ultimate director’s picture with gigantic close-ups and slow, overlapping dissolves, garnering Stevens his first Oscar (among five for the film). Adapted from Dreiser’s An American Tragedy; with Raymond “Perry Mason” Burr as the prosecutor. Robert Osborne often called this his favorite film. “Two scenes highlight the kind of work in which Method actors are trained. When George (Clift), a poor relation, is given a job in his rich relative’s factory, he slides into a relationship with a fellow worker, Alice Tripp (Winters), but falls in love with Angela Vickers (Taylor), a striking young woman who comes from a world of wealth and privilege he yearns to enter. … The veiled way Clift plays the film’s pivotal scene on the lake—notice his eyes, the imprint of the character’s colliding thoughts registered in the actor’s face and gestures—makes a facile determination about guilt or innocence problematic.” – Foster Hirsch


“They are almost like reflections of each other; when they kiss, something incestuous and thrillingly forbidden throbs out of the screen.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Film Forum