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Two for the Seesaw

31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Wise directs Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine in this spicy and poignant love story about a free-spirited Greenwich Village girl who hooks up with a brooding Nebraska lawyer.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Mitchum, Shirley MacLaine
  • Directors: Robert Wise
  • Writers: Isobel Lennart (screenplay)
  • Producers: Walter Mirisch
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: December 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002Y26UQK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,885 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Two for the Seesaw" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By ravenl4 on November 4, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The first time I watched this, I was captivated by Mitchum and MacLaine together. I was engrossed with their love story. The second time I watched this movie it stuck me a little bit more profound then just a love story.
Mitchum plays a man, who is dissatisfied with the life that had coddled him, tired of accepting what people handed out to him. He feels as if he has been given a life of luxury at the cost of his own independence. He is tired of taking and wants to give what he has to offer.
Then we have MacLaine. A somewhat innocent and a bit naive woman who has a heart as big as the city she lives in. She gives and gives with no thought or expectations of reciprocation. She is strong and independent. Yet, she is afraid to need someone, to love someone, to let someone give to her.
Then these two meet. Mitchum at last has something to offer someone, enjoys giving what he has, and taking care of someone else, instead of him being taken care of. MacLaine finally has someone to unravel those walls of independence and allows herself to need someone. It's a beautiful relationship that really reaches out to me.
Not only that but Mitchum and MacLaine are magnificent in it. I love the fact that this was filmed in black and white. Color would only distract and add unnecessary noise to the message this movie brings to the viewer. So do these two live happy ever after? Watch it and find out. :o)
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By RareRare on December 15, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Like Helen Morgan's "Applause", the film version of "Two For the Seesaw" gives its viewers a seldom seen look at the real theatre world of New York City in the 20th Century. This is a gritty, realistic love story on the cold, hard streets of New York that somehow is still able to show the real romance of the giant city. Not unlike the neo-realism of Fellini, Viscounti and Pausolini, "Two for the Seesaw" shows how actors and artists romatically collide with everyday people as they barely hang onto their dreams. Shirlely MacLaine lived this life before "The Pajama Game" and probably had friends like Gittel Mosca who were still striving for greatness long after MacLaine was a star. And Robert Mitchum, always surprising in roles in which he seemed to be wrongfullly cast, was never better. All this superior quality is magnified in the beauty and clarity of black and white. Don't read the following reviews. Those people have never been in love and working in the theatre in New York. I have and know how right-on this film is. It should be on DVD in widescreen. I've copied it off TCM and treasure my VHS in letterbox.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Randy Keehn VINE VOICE on April 6, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
I decided to watch "Two for the Seesaw" because it starred Robert Mitchum and I must say that this is one of his better movies. His strong, forceful "man in control" persona comes through very well. Unfortunately, that's the major problem I had with "Two for the Seesaw" because the lead male role calls, in my opinion, for a more bewildered man. Consider the plot's premise; A middle-aged lawyer from Nebraska comes to New York City to escape his marital problems at home. He meets a Greenich Village-type woman who's his complete oppostite and they attempt to have a normal relationship. I looked up the history of this play and Dana Andrews as well as Henry Fonda (a REAL Nebraska fellow) played the part on stage. Without knowing for sure, I presume that they brought a humorous sort of "Gee Whiz" bewilderment at not only the big city but the strange folks that live there. I presume that this made this comedy a funnier presentation than Mitchum's "ho-hum, nothing gets in my way" approach. With his leading role, the rest of the cast had to put together whatever humor they could salvage. Maybe I'm missing the playwrite's purpose; maybe he meant to show a man buckled under by others controlling his life who becomes a person looking for someone he could control. I think not.

OK that's out of the way, now for the positives. Mitchum and MacLaine work very well together and create a very interesting relationship. As I said, this is one of his best "Robert Mitchum" preformances. There is a good supporting cast but it's essentially a two person show. There is a soundtrack that is outstanding. Whoever was playing that trumpet has a knack for jazzy blues. I was absorbed in the movie but I kept thinking that someone was coming on too strong. Apparently the director, Robert Wise, didn't think so.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Von Pein on October 18, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine star in "Two For The Seesaw", which is a movie that I enjoyed very much. It's refreshing to see Mitchum in a softer (and non-violent) role. (Although, Bob does manage to get in one good whack in this film. But, Shirley gets him back [twice] later in the picture.)

Mr. Mitchum was a very busy actor in the early 1960s, with "Seesaw" already representing his 8th film during the still-very-young decade of the '60s. The first seven being: "Home From The Hill" (1960), "A Terrible Beauty" (1960), "The Sundowners" (1960), "The Grass Is Greener" (1960), "The Last Time I Saw Archie" (1961), "Cape Fear" (1962), and "The Longest Day" (1962).

With just one film in between, Mitchum went from portraying hardened criminal "Max Cady" in "Cape Fear", to his role as a gentle lawyer in "Two For The Seesaw". Mitch's superb versatility was never more apparent than in those two 1962 films.

MacLaine and Mitchum are on screen for very nearly the entire 1 hour and 59 minutes here, and (IMO) treat us to some very good, on-target, realistic dialogue. And the ending was a bit of a twist, which is another big plus.

One line in the script that I particularly thought hit the mark was when Shirley berates Robert with: "Who needs to work THAT hard if things [in a relationship] are going right?!". Makes good sense. There are several clever lines like that in the film.

As I watched this film, I kept being reminded of "The Hustler" (1961), which is very similar in pace, style, and looks. The small confines of the drab apartments and the overall dark visuals are very much the same in both movies.
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