- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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I totally agree with Lobby who posted below. This is an understated gem and intense beyond adequate words. The cast is stellar. Montgomery Clift with his dark, brooding intensity, Myrna Loy with her dignity and wounded determination, Robert Ryan with his cynical angry yet lonely life view, the innocence and youthful hope of Dolores Hart and the lost , lonely and heartbroken Maureen Stapleton--this may be one of the best assembled casts in film history.
Above & Beyond Sargent Pepper
RR's character reminded me of what being examined by Christ might be like in that he saw the heart of man as fraudulent. His excellent speech from excellent minds combined with incisive gaze forced truth to be spoken- from all players! In the end he acknowledged his own fakery to be repented of after witnessing forgiveness & restoration on a human level as reinforced by his knowing the 10 Commandments.
Very early Dore Schary...
This is a strange film but extraordinary in character definition - something rarely seen in film. Dore Schary wrote the screenplay in his early days at MGM and he eventually supplanted Louis B. Mayer as President of the studio but that was much later. Much should be made of the dichotomy of characters played by Montgomery Clift and Robert Ryan. After Clift begins writing a lonely hearts column for Ryan's newspaper, Ryan baits him at every turn. Ryan is a hard cynic and Clift plays his role as an empathetic man, naive in so many ways. The give-and-take between Ryan and Clift is tremendous writing! The ending, with Clift joining the real world but seeing his values broken but restored is worth watching the film. I can certainly see why Schary was at such odds with Mayer when I watch this film Mayer wanted big splashy films with cutesy stories, while Schary preferred a darker and more realistic approach to film stories. I'm glad Schary won out this time! Very good film!
Ahead of its time
Interesting character studies of individuals in personal turmoil. Just about everyone in the movie is flawed in a different way. Terrific cast. This is an overlooked gem of a film.
Ryan Steals the Show
Though Montgomery Clift gets top billing here and does his usual fantastic job, the real star of this film is Robert Ryan. Few could play the unlikeable, hardened, cynic as Ryan could. He is totally brilliant here. Truly, I belive Ryan may have been the most under-rated actor ever.