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A Place in the Sun

289 customer reviews

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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


Special Features

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

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 (289 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXBZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Place in the Sun" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 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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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Golden Girls fan on March 16, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Among the top 100 films of all time this gem from the early fifties solely belongs on it. George Stevens has fashioned a memorable and stirring adaptation of the novel by Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy." Montgomery Clift stands out as the poor and wretched nephew of a wealthy businessman. He slowly starts to climb the ladder of success when he sees the lovely Elizabeth Taylor, who was 19 at the time. However, he has also become involved with the maidish Shelley Winters and their one night together results in a pregnancy. With his future suddenly becoming brighter and more promising, the bitter truth from Winters threatens to bring him down and destroy him. However one cannot fool the way life works, and it all comes back to seek revenge upon him for what he does to secure his place in the sun of high society. Six Oscars went to this masterpiece for its brilliant direction from Stevens, screenplay adaptation, cinematography which looks creepy and then blossoming when appropriate, Franz Waxman's moody music score, Edith Head's incredible costume designs for Taylor, and film editing, which keeps the film moving and never letting up interest. However audiences and critics were in an uproar in 1951 when it lost Best Picture to a musical that year. This film's content was ahead of its time in some aspects for it deals with pregnancy, lust, a one night stand, and cheating your way up the ladder of success. There are few films that can equal the powerful impact of emotion this film evokes for the characters. You can't help but feel sorry for Winters when she becomes victimized and lied to by Clift, thus leaving her to fend for herself while he goes on in the carnival of a life of sheer luxury.Read more ›
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