A Place in the Sun (1951)

A Place in the Sun
Directed by George Stevens
Written by Harry Brown and Michael Wilson based on the novel by Theodore Dreiser
(number 278)

I should have guessed from this movie being based on a novel called ‘an american tragedy; that it wasn’t about to be a happy fun time watch. It’s pretty bleak. I had thought it would be a kind of commentary on the classes and how one man is trying to find his way… but actually it’s about falling in love with two women and then killing one to be with the other. Rough.

This movie has some dark themes: abortion, misguided love, murder, accidental death and classism, but that said it didn’t grab me as a film. I wasn’t super invested in the lives of these people. I can’t help thinking it might work better as a play as it was before the film.

Elizabeth Taylor is charming in her role as rich girl Angela, she’s probably the highlight of the movie although her character is pretty flat. The main character was a bit slimy, really. I didn’t particularly care for that performance.

Does it make me love the people? Not particularly. I didn’t feel much empathy for our main character, George. Angela is kind of sweet but vapid and Alice was kind of sweet but annoying. Maybe I need to really watch it again to connect to them, but I don’t know. I didn’t connect.

Bechdel test: Yes, early on Angela talks to Hannah Eastman, briefly. But its only that one moment.

Best line: This one isn’t terribly impressive but I feel like it’s been copied and paraphrased a lot since:
George: I love you. I’ve loved you since the first moment I saw you. I guess maybe I’ve even loved you before I saw you.

State of Mind: It fell flat for me. Maybe it’s just that I had a bad cold when I watched it. Maybe it’s just that the story’s no good. I’m not sure. And I’m not sure I want to watch it again to figure that out. I don’t feel too bad about not loving this movie since it’s actually not a black and white classic that I’ve heard of before. Maybe one of the other Liz Taylor movies will be more better? Let’s hope so!

Watched movie count