A Place in the Sun

122 mins
Drama
★★★★★ ★★★★★ by 1 User
A good example of the kind of soporific nonsense that won rave reviews and armloads of Academy Awards back in the 50s, while the finest work of Ford, Hawks, and Hitchcock was being ignored. George Stevens, a tireless moralizer and part-time embalmer of American myths (Shane), directed this melodramatic adaptation of Dreiser's An American Tragedy, and what does not seem facile in it seems overwrought. Curiously, this 1951 film now seems hopelessly dated, while Josef von Sternberg's 1931 treatment of the material, filmed under the original title, seems breathtakingly modern. With Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters.

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Reviews / Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

One can only wonder why this Dave Kehr fool is listed as a top critic on a movie rating website. Tawdry reviews such as this gain you recognition? Ugh. And I suppose it's only downhill from now on being that Ebert is dead.

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Posted by Matthew_White on 04/06/2013 at 5:29 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

Dave Kerr is unfair to 'A Place in the Sun'. George Steven's treatment of social commentary is, at times, brilliant. There is a sense of foreboding in the framing and depth of field that is unmistakable. Stevens makes clever use of a stationary camera in a number of scenes but I was particularly struck by the tawdry quality of Alice's room, the melted ice cream, the characters in the extreme left corner of the screen as the two attempt to celebrate George's birthday. The camera is no less forgiving as George answers the phone in his rooming house while Angela invites him to a party. We are allowed to observe the details of these settings with such prolonged objectivity that there can be no happy ending for any of these characters. Montgomery Clift holds the entire charade together brilliantly as he moves between social classes.

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Posted by Katy Hennessy on 01/22/2015 at 1:10 AM

There was a golden age of Holywood that ended in the early Thirties with the implementation of a morals clause upon the movie industry. Viewed from our time, movies created in the late 1920's and early 1930's are visibly more realisitic, believable, much more true to life. This could explain the difference in the presentation of essentially the same material.

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Posted by n0cent0bsrvr on 04/02/2011 at 8:27 PM

There was a golden age of Holywood that ended in the early Thirties with the implementation of a morals clause upon the movie industry. Viewed from our time, movies created in the late 1920's and early 1930's are visibly more realisitic, believable, much more true to life. This could explain the difference in the presentation of essentially the same material.

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Posted by n0cent0bsrvr on 04/02/2011 at 8:27 PM
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