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Set during the Korean War, a Navy fighter pilot must come to terms with with his own ambivalence towards the war and the fear of having to bomb a set of highly defended bridges. The ending of this grim war drama is all tension.
Washed up singer/actor Frank Elgin has a chance to make a come-back when director Bernie Dodd offers him the leading role in his new musical. Frank however is very insecure, turns to alcohol and shuns even the smallest of responsibilities, leaving everything up to his wife Georgie who finds it harder and harder to cope with her husband's lack of spirit. Bernie tries to help Frank regain his self-confidence, believing that it is Georgie who's the cause of his insecurity.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
Edith Head who was in charge of Grace's wardrobe said, "I had to take one of the most beautiful woman in the world and make her look plain and drab." Head used brown wool clothes, cardigan sweaters, and low-heeled Capezio shoes to make Grace appear dowdy. See more »
Brilliant except for amateurishly dull musical interludes...
BING CROSBY gives his all to the role of a washed up actor fixated on guilt (and the bottle) while GRACE KELLY and WILLIAM HOLDEN give even finer performances as the two people who quarrel over how to reform his guzzling ways.
The weakness here is not the script. It's the dull musical numbers assigned to Crosby, who carries them off in the usual amiable Crosby manner, before he reverts to character as Frank Elgin. Nevertheless, when he's down and out, he gives a very painfully convincing portrait of a weak alcoholic man who shifts all of the blame to his wife. I suspect Clifford Odets may have based his portrait of this weak man on actor Frank Fay (once married to Barbara Stanwyck), whose career was destroyed by alcoholism and who depended on breezy charm for his appeal.
There are some really searing scenes between Kelly and Holden, fireworks that never seem less than realistic as a result of two completely realized characters that come to life in a well-written script. Holden is particularly fine in a difficult, demanding role that forces him to gradually shift his sympathy as he realizes who the real culprit is. His performance is the strongest of the three stars.
Grace Kelly subdues her aristocratic ways (and her prissy affected manners and voice) to play a woman who knows what the truth is behind her husband's weakness. She looks as forlorn and beaten as the script requires, always completely in touch with her character's moods and feelings. There are little nuances all along that show what a fine actress she could be under superb direction and given some brilliant dialog.
Fascinating as a portrait of theater people, but a letdown whenever it strays into the producing of a show that looks to be as feeble as any amateur production could be with hopes of becoming Broadway bound.
Neverthelss, a gritty, searing, truthful drama that is well worth watching for the performances alone.
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