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A Place in the Sun (1951)

Montgomery Clift , Shelley Winters , George Stevens  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)

Price: $13.40 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Montgomery Clift, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Taylor, Keefe Brasselle, Raymond Burr
  • Directors: George Stevens
  • Writers: Michael Wilson, Harry Brown, Theodore Dreiser
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: August 21, 2001
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXBZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,408 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Place in the Sun" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Exclusive cast and crew interviews with Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, George Stevens, Jr

Editorial Reviews

Young up-and-comer George Eastman is thrust into the blue collar life of a rich uncle's family business where he's expected to learn the ropes from the bottom up. While paying his dues, Eastman becomes involved with Alice Tripp, a simple, trusting girl on the assembly line. When Eastman is finally introduced to high society he meets the gorgeous, sophisticated Angela Vickers and promptly forgets all about Alice. Only Alice won't be gotten rid of so easily - especially since their affair is about to result in an unexpected and (especially from Eastman) unwanted dividend. -- Written by A.L. Beneteau

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreams crash down and hard moral choices must be made January 20, 2003
Format:DVD
I haven't read Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy" on which this 1951 film is based, but I can see how the word "tragedy" is used in its classic sense - that of a character who meets disaster because of a tragic flaw. So even though purists might see "A Place in the Sun" as a romanticized version of Dreiser's tale, I certainly found it serious enough for me.

Directed by George Stevens, the film opens with Montgomery Clift thumbing a ride. He's going to the town where his rich uncle owns a mill. He's awkward among his affluent relatives and happy to get a job, any job. And so even though he has to start at the bottom, packing bathing suits into boxes, he's aware of his future opportunities. Shelly Winters is cast as a factory girl he starts romancing. But then, his fortunes suddenly turn, he's invited to more and more upscale social events, and he falls in love with Elizabeth Taylor. The plot thickens as Shelly Winters announces her pregnancy and Montgomery Cliff finds himself trapped. The consequences are horrific as we watch his dreams all crash down around him.

I was captured by the story right from the beginning in a screenplay that kept the tension mounting and never let up. I identified with Montgomery cliff and found myself sympathic to his plight. He plays a complex character and has a lot of moral choices to make. He sweats, he shakes, he cringes, his eyes fill with tears. Certainly, he was one of the finest actors of his time and his performance is magnificent. Elizabeth Taylor was just 17 years old then and sure was a beauty. As she explains in an interview as part of the special features on the DVD, this was her first serious role. "Before that," she says jokingly, "all my leading men were either dogs or horses.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential September 27, 2005
Format:DVD
Theodore Drieser was among America's earliest realistic authors, and his massive 1925 AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY, loosely based on real events, was a best-selling shocker filled with premarital sex, abortion issues, and social failures. The novel was filmed in 1931--and Drieser was so outraged that he successfully sued Paramount to force reshoots and a new edit. The result did not please Drieser, Paramount, or the movie-going public, and when censorship began to rear its head both the novel and movie were quietly shelved.

By the late 1940s, however, censorship began to relax, and A PLACE IN THE SUN was among the first films to take advantage of the fact. Unlike the 1931 film, producers did not attempt to film the whole of the novel; they instead focused on the second half. The result was singularly powerful.

George Eastman (Montgomery Cliff) is the poor relation of a wealthy family--and when seeks aid from them he is given a menial job in the factory, where he becomes intimate with factory worker Alice (Shelly Winters.) But when George is suddenly promoted he begins to enter the world of his dreams--and it includes glamorous socialite Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor.) And now only the commonplace and unexpectedly pregnant Alice stands between him and all that he has ever desired.

The script veers toward excess more than once, but director George Stevens and his extraordinary cast carry the film to unexpectedly powerful effect. Previously known as a sex-bomb, Shelly Winters fought hard for the role of Alice and with it gives the first in the series of truly brilliant performances for which she would become so well known.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Young Man's Tragedy July 31, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Coincidentally, I saw this film within a week after I read Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby for the first of several times. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I had so many dreams, fantasies, ambitions, etc. and thus, years later, immediately identified with George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) as well as with Jay Gatsby, so different in many ways but both hungering for acceptance and respectability, thereby to enhance their self-image. George Stevens' brilliant direction was rewarded with an Academy Award. Working with a screenplay based on Theodore Dreiser's bloated novel An American Tragedy, Stevens elicited from both Clift and Elizabeth Taylor (Angela Vickers) perhaps their finest performances on film. Both are ideally cast as star cross'd lovers, so near and yet so far from what both so passionately desire. Members of the supporting cast are outstanding, notably Shelley Winters (Alice Tripp), Anne Revere (Hannah Eastman), Sheppard Strudwick (Anthony Vickers), and Raymond Burr (Frank Marlowe). Young Eastman is torn between accepting essentially a blue-collar life (with some prospect for a white collar eventually) and doing whatever is necessary to join the society of affluence in which his beloved Angela is so comfortable.

All decisions have consequences and some decisions have tragic consequences. George's decision to gratify himself sexually with Alice one rainy evening creates a complication for which he is ill-prepared. Eventually, he is held accountable for her death (even if viewed as an accident) because, at that point, he cannot endure a life with her nor a life without Angela. George may not deliberately eliminate Alice from his life but he certainly has no interest whatsoever in having any further contact with her. He is convicted of intent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorite classic movies; I watch it a couple of times each week!
Published 3 days ago by jill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie!
Published 7 days ago by Robert Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars ... on my Kindle so for me this was really wonderful. I have an eye...
Just recently discovered that I I could watch a movie on my Kindle so for me this was really wonderful. Read more
Published 8 days ago by tabatha
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice seeing Liz in her youth
Nice seeing Liz in her youth, however the film is a 'tragedy', hinging on criminal law, as it used to be...
Published 9 days ago by vvurdsmyth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A treasure.
Published 19 days ago by Katherine Salas
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Such a classic movie
Published 24 days ago by Atilya Finley
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good.
It is a really good movie. This was not the one I needed to watch, but I did enjoy it.
Published 27 days ago by Delores Fields
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
A great movie. All of the stars were terrific. Montgomery Clift was moody and brooding, Elizabeth Taylor showed tremendous acting chops and Shelley Winter steals the show. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Librariann
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I grew up watching movies like this. It's like going back in time to view them today and it's always striking to observe how much more simple and less sophisticated movies were... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Campy but worth it
I know these old classics are a little cheesy, but I love them so much. I think it's Clift's best work.
Published 1 month ago by Roger K
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I have been searching for a lead sheet for piano for this music for several years. It seems to be very rare. If you find it, please post the link. It would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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