A Place in the Sun

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From the novel An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Young man with ordinary working-class girlfriend has a shot at a connection to a rich society girl…but the girlfriend gets pregnant. How will he solve his problem? the title of the book probably tells you all you need to know…

This was actually a better movie than I expected it to be, given that the EXTREMELY FAMOUS novel is EIGHT HUNDRED PAGES long…my film discussion group had picked a book/movie combination for December, and I actually got most of the way through the book (excellent, although hard going) before I got too busy to finish it.

The movie cuts out a lot of the explication, and moves the setting from 1912 to the current time, 1951. This allows the socialites to be dressed in beautiful modern fashions and drive around in spiffy cars, without detracting from the plot at all.

Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor are both really good in this, and Shelley Winters as the pregnent girlfriend was excellent…there is one scene where she’s talking about them being married and their future together in a monotone, just because she has that kind of personality, and you can just see the horror that doing the right thing would be for this young man, however much he OUGHT to.

The trial scenes are really good, including a young Raymond Burr playing the part that Perry Mason was modeled after.

A good movie, worth watching, and it doesn’t hurt that Liz Taylor is AMAZINGLY young and beautiful.

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