- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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At the end of the film, Arnold Bolt, brilliantly played by Spencer Tracy, asks "What would you have done?" Oh, boy, is that a loaded question! Tracy and Kerr give virtuoso performances but this film is Tracy's all the way. He oils his way through life stepping on anyone and everyone to further his own egotistic agenda. His son, who we never see on screen, becomes the father's focus after his birth and, like all children who are given too much, becomes a ne'er-do-well. The havoc wreaked by the father is visited on everyone he encounters but it is the family who suffer the most. Each time I view this film, I'm left wondering if there was another actor of the time who could have pulled this off a bit better. As brilliant as Tracy is, he played this part in another film with nearly the same plot, in "The Last Hurrah," which was released eight years after this one and it was a much more believable performance. Tracy as a corrupt American politician with outsized ambitions for his son is far more believable than Tracy as an English lord.
Very interesting film
I'm in the process of viewing all of Deborah Kerr's films (I have 2 left!!) and was able to get a copy of this one recently. It certainly wasn't what I expected even though I'd read the synopsis of the plot. Spencer Tracy was absolutely brilliant in the role of Arnold. On the surface, he seems quite benign-you know, Spencer Tracy-like. But, underneath, Arnold is dangerously menacing, especially when it came to making sure that Edward was getting what he wanted. Evelyn, his wife, (played by the lovely and talented Deborah Kerr) begins to realize how spoiled Edward is and wants Arnold to put the kabosh on spoiling the kid, but Arnold isn't having it. Arnold does some seriously illegal, unethical, and immoral things to keep the unseen Edward happy. He becomes abusive towards Evelyn when she makes a decision to leave and take Edward with her, as well as prevents her from leaving. Needless to say, Edward grows up to be a spoiled, selfish jerk and many lives are ruined because of his actions and those of his father. This is a true cautionary tale of what happens when you give your kids too much. This role was Deborah Kerr's first Oscar nomination and, although, she was good in it, she was way better in the role of Sister Clodaugh two years earlier in "Black Narcissus" which I feel should have earned her at least a nomination. This is not my favorite of her movies, but I most certainly will watch it again.
3 item's of interest about this film!
- Steven Paul
- Spence is downright nasty. - Deborah Kerr's performance after her character's physical and emotional transformation. - Leueen MacGrath is quite provocative and alluring. I wish she would have appeared in more films.
Classic! Spencer Tracy and Deborah Kerr prove they are great actors in very different roles from the ones we're most familiar with.
Very interesting movie
I had never heard of this movie, but I'm glad I watched it. Excellent movie, good story, well acted by all. Interesting plot device: although the entire story revolves around Edward, we never see him.
Great movie that should be on DVD!!!
- Penny Tennyson
I have a very poor VHS copy from a showing on TCM of this absolutely great Deborah Kerr and Spencer Tracy. Tracy's character is so different than any other he's played and Kerr's is heartbreaking. Tracy does literally anything, legal or not, for Edward, my son - whom we never see. I want to thank TCM for showing this seemingly little known Tracy/Kerr film.
when will this movie be available on dvd?
- dorothea donegan
I am collecting deborah kerr movies and this one is not available anywhere. why not? deborah kerr gives a magnificent perfor- mance and anything with spencer tracy is always welcome.