- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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no down payment
- kevin sellers
Fairly ludicrous film from the darling of 60s/70s liberal Hollywood, Martin Ritt, that would have you believe that if only one could rid society of its violent, drunken, ill mannered rednecks then your racial and social conflicts would magically disappear. At least that's what Philip Yordan's screenplay seems to be saying with that idiotic ending which juxtaposes happy, suburban churchgoers, white and Japanese, with Joanne Woodward, in her best "3 Faces of Eve" manner, driving away from Sunrise Hills Calif. in a taxi following the death of her vulgar, rapist husband. And for Ben Mankewiecz to suggest that this heavy handed and preachy film is on the same level as the timeless, elegant, lyrical analysis of class prejudice and social conformity that is "All That Heaven Allows" or that Martin Ritt is comparable to Douglas Sirk, when in reality Ritt is not worthy to hold Sirk's view finder, is frankly offensive. Give it a C plus rather than a C for the performances of Pat Hingle, Cameron Mitchell, and the always under-rated Sheree North, as well as Joseph La Shelle's cinematography which captures the look of 50s Socal palm tree/tract house paradise, where there's always a party in someone's backyard and the adults dance to swing morphing into rock while the teens are offscreen turning on to Chuck Berry. And all this in the guise of "Sunrise Hills", which is in reality Pacific Palisades, a place I know well, where the solidly middle class characters of this film, if they were to return to it today, would be rousted by the LAPD for homelessness.
Film captures life in the 50's
- Linda D.
Welcome to the 50's. Post war cookie cutter homes, neighborhood parties, everyone always dressed up. this is what the 50's was like. Great cast and characters.
Low Down Pained Men
- Jeff Boston
an acute alternative title to "No Down Payment" - a melodrama that's certainly not mellow. It has astute acting by an ensemble with careers in mostly B-level films and TV. I presume a Pacific Palisades (I saw "Pacific Palisades Florist Caf" in the background of an in-town scene) production, it rips apart some of the residents of Sunrise Hills, where there's plenty of bills, chills, and spills, especially "mature" adults spilling their guts in this anti-suburbia angst fest (hard to name a film with the subject being suburbs and suburbanites that is not a heaven-is-really-hell harangue). The kids zombified in front of the TV was a good addition, as were Mitchell's and Woodward's thoroughly 3-D characters.
I really enjoyed the fast pace of the story with problems multiplying quickly. It was tense-filled situations growing, as the movie progresses. All the actors were great.I had never heard of this movie before. The social problems of that era were represented very well. It was good entertainment.
Well Acted and Presented
Good acting all around, good pace and presentation. Far out story by compactness but conceivable. Admit to being a big Joanne Woodward fan and she does shine. Cameron Mitchell better actor than I thought. Wonder where it was filmed as I often do.
Creamy American Dream, Curdling at the Edges
- el debbo
This is a very good movie, and as the other reviewer said "forgotten" (the last review written 10 years ago! crikey!) All the actors in top form...I didn't know Sheree North had it in her...and never saw Tony Randall as an obnoxious drunk, which was a superb portrayal. I love Jeff Hunter, he was a good actor and easy on the eyes. The big surprise for me was tough, ex-GI Cameron Mitchell. He was excellent. I checked his filmography and they have him listed in Moulin Rouge! the one that was filmed about 5 years after his death. Must've been an interesting shoot.Anyway, 5 stars for this realistic take on finding post-War happiness in little pink houses.
This forgotten film contradicts the common post-War conception of consumerism and conformity as dual roads to happiness. Spousal abuse, rape, bigotry, alcoholism, and (unnamed) post-traumatic stress disorder are among the issues plaguing residents of a brand-new California suburb. They are living the post-World War II dream, but this film challenges the truth of that dream. An antidote to the Cleavers, the Reeds, and the Cunninghams.