- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
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sign of the ram
- kevin sellers
A fairly overwrought melodrama that takes place along the same rocky, crashing Hollywood, English coast that gave us "Ghost And Mrs. Muir" and "Rebecca" but which is about half as good as those other fine films. Let's just say that director John Sturges seems more at home with macho guys ("Mag. 7"/ "Great Escape") than he does with histrionic gals. He does, however, elicit one good performance, from Susan Peters in the lead. Don't know if it's the fact that like her character in the film she was in real life recently wheel chair bound, but Peters manages to suggest the frustration as well as the caged energy that is searching for an outlet that must accompany anyone in this state, especially someone who has had it happen to them in the not too distant past. And I must disagree with the previous reviewer about there being a lack of motivation in the screenplay for Peters' desire to control. Through her fine performance Peters conveys that her character, Leah, who used to be so physically dominant now must channel that quality into emotional dominance. Unfortunately, aside from Susie P. there is a notable sag in acting quality. Peggy Ann Garner, so good in "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn," is annoyingly whiny here, the reliably dull Phyllis Thaxter does not disappoint, and good English actors like Alexander Knox and Dame May Whitty are reduced to ciphers. So, for Peters performance let's give it a C plus. P.S. Guess novelist Margaret Ferguson, upon whose novel this film is based, had it in for Aries people, huh? Ok by me. I'm an Aquarius married to a Scorpio.
The Impetus for Her Meddling is Never Explained
Susan Peters portrays the prototype of every daytime serial's meddling mother. Only her need to manipulate is never quite explained. The good doctor gives a dorky explanation of those born under the Sign of the Ram, but that is never really an adequate explanation for her need to meddle in the lives of her stepchildren. She convinces her oldest stepdaughter that her doctor suitor is not interested so they won't marry. She convinces her eldest stepson's fiancee (a foundling raised by the church vicar and his wife) that her natural parents were insane so they won't marry. And then there's the youngest stepdaughter who clings to her like a piece of lint. Throw into the mix a "secretary" who was supposedly hired to help the wheelchair-bound writer lead villain-ness, but they're not in more than two scenes together. She spends all of her time with the loyal husband who goes about helping dogs deliver their puppies and smoking his pipe. It's the kind of story that could have really been more effective if we'd understood her motives. Alas, all of her stepchildren figure out that she's a master manipulator and vow to never come near her again. Her demise off the cliff at the end is not unexpected. It's just not very satisfying. This type of role was far better played by Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven, mostly because the viewer understood her impetus--the loss of her father and the need to control those she loved most. Not a bad movie, but not as good as it could have been.
The Sign of the Ram
- Ray Smith
So glad that TCM has presented this rarely shown film, which, as far as I know, is still not on DVD. Being a born under "The Sign of the Ram" myself (April 6, Aries) I was fascinated as a young child when I found an old newspaper lining a shelf in our house. It was the movie page from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. It had an ad for the film. I have always remembered the tag line "People born under the sign of the ram will stop at nothing!" I have watched for the film over the years and only seen twice. Very well done, with moody atmosphere and an excellent cast headed by Susan Peters, Alexander Knox and Phyllis Thaxter. Also interesting to see one of John Sturges' early directorial assignments. Quite a distance from "The Magnificient Seven" and "Bad Day at Black Rock". This is a little known gem.
- P Rupert
This movie shows Susan Peters as a disabled lady who manipulates and controls all around her, especially her family.. I have been checking for it to be released on DVD for years.
I have the Book
- Sherida Cluff
My mother named me after the character in the book (Sherida) so I was hoping to get a copy of this film on DVD. I have seen the movie a couple of times on TV. I do have the book now that Mom has passed away. I have a special relationship with these characters. (smile).
The Sign of the Ram
- Gwen Atkins
This is a very exciting and suspenseful movie with incredible actors. The story line is written very well. I love this movie and am so very disappointed That it has not been made into a DVD yet. I would buy it immediately if it was. I would also get 2 more DVD's for my daughter and daughter-in-law. I know my 2 sisters would get it as well. I will keep hoping that they realize there are many people who don't sign up for a DVD but would get it if it were available. I thank TCM everytime they show it. It is on today at 6:30 pm and I for one will be watching it.Please watch them come online and vote for this movie.
Loved this movie. Gave it 5 stars. Couldn't believe when I saw it listed on the t.v. guide and immediately grabbed my remote to tape it. I saw this movie when I was very young and since have tried to find it but thought it no longer existed. I seem to remember a similar movie where a woman in a wheelchair is PUSHED off a cliff (not committed suicide). Is there a movie out there with such an ending? Thanks TCM for bringing back such classics.
MY PEGGY ANN DOES IT AGAIN!!!!!!!
- ALPHONSE DATTOLO
ALTHOUGH I RESPECT SUSAN PETERS AND HER PPERFORMANCE IN THIS MOVIE WAS EXCELLENT, THE REAL STAR OF THE SIGN OF THE RAM WAS MY ANGEL PEGGY ANN GARNER. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOOK DEEPLY INTO PEGGY ANN'S EYES AND YOU WILL BE DRAWN INTO THE BEAUTY AND THE TALENT OF THE GREATEST ACTRESS WHO EVER LIVED-MY ANGEL PEGGY ANN GARNER!!!!!!!
Reminds me of Rebecca
This is a really good film, reminiscent of Rebecca in the mysterious mood and setting. Everything seems idyllic until the viewer picks up from outside characters that everything isn't as perfect as it seems in the house. Can't wait to see it again.
TCM Must Show This Someday
Please TCM, get on the ball and show, this obscure film now. A movie referrence book calls it "weird" and for the novelty that the leading lady Susan Cabot was really confined to a wheelchair.