A Place in the Sun 1951 NR CC

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(267) IMDb 7.9/10
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Montgomery Clift stars as George Eastman, a poor young man determined to win a place in respectable society and the heart of a beautiful socialite (Elizabeth Taylor). Shelley Winters plays the factory girl whose dark secret threatens Eastman's professional and romantic prospects.

Starring:
Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor
Runtime:
2 hours, 2 minutes

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A Place in the Sun

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director George Stevens
Starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor
Supporting actors Shelley Winters, Anne Revere, Keefe Brasselle, Fred Clark, Raymond Burr, Herbert Heyes, Shepperd Strudwick, Frieda Inescort, Kathryn Givney, Walter Sande, Ted de Corsia, John Ridgely, Lois Chartrand, Paul Frees, Robert J. Anderson, Gertrude Astor, Lulu Mae Bohrman, John Breen
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Just a great movie well acted.
julio rangel
Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelly Winters played their roles to a "Tee".
Twilla Cross
For so many young men and women, the American Dream can become the American Tragedy.
Robert Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE 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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65 of 66 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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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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