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sycasey 2.0

A Place in the Sun

A Place in the Sun?  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Does A Place in the Sun go in the space capsule?

    • ✅ I've loved you since the first moment I saw you. I guess maybe I've even loved you before I saw you.
    • ❌ Seems like we always spend the best part of our time just saying goodbye.

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Amy & Paul are infatuated with 1951’s tragic love triangle A Place In The Sun! They hear Elizabeth Taylor explain how watching Montgomery Clift helped make her a real actress, ask what makes George Stevens a great director, and discuss how the film expertly toys with the viewer’s sympathy. Plus: an infamous Tonight Show moment with Shelley Winters.

This is the fourth episode in our Couple Goals series; next week’s film is Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall

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I liked the movie, but I'm feeling like it falls short of Top 100 status. I especially think this when I consider that A Streetcar Named Desire came out the same year, with Marlon Brando making an even bigger splash in introducing method acting to Hollywood. I think Streetcar is the 1951 melodrama with complex morals that has aged better over time.

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I actually really loved the movie, but the ending with the trial and the "your guilty in your heart" nonsense knocked this out of the spaceship for me. I didn't hate the ending, but I thought it was iffy enough to not be considered for the aliens.

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I watched this a few weeks ago for this specific series, and it did not work for me, so I would vote to keep both this and "Rebel Without a Cause" off the list. A big part of it was Montgomery Clift's performance. I thought he had the worst poker-face in the world and didn't know if it was because he was a terrible actor or if that was just the broader style of the time (I didn't know he was considered part of the newer style of acting). Then, the next week, I saw him in Red River and thought (as John Ford supposedly did on seeing the film, although about John Wayne) "Huh, he actually can act". You wouldn't expect more subtlety from a John Wayne western, but Wayne himself gets to play the morally shady Captain Ahab type while Clift's character keeps his internally conflicted feelings about that character under the vest until the time comes to make a decision. Maybe in a film where his action is less morally laudable he's not supposed to be able to conceal his intentions that well, but I still never sympathized or "rooted" for him in this. He just seemed like a scummy cad screwing over and plotting to murder a less privileged woman who trusted him in order to improve his own situation. Maybe being aware of the real murder case inspiration made me start out thinking of him that way.

The discussion of midcentury norms for women and that Oliver Reed clip made me think of this.

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