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From The Terrace

4.4 out of 5 stars 174 customer reviews

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(May 20, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A rich World War II veteran and his socialite wife ruin their lives with affairs. From the John O'Hara novel.


From the Terrace is one of Paul Newman's lesser-known films, but it's a worthy showcase for the actor's developing screen persona. Like Butterfield 8, this is a slick, prestigious adaptation of a John O'Hara novel, about loose morals and forbidden love among the wealthy elite. Director Mark Robson lacks the mastery of melodrama that Douglas Sirk would've brought to this material, but he's still on target with O'Hara's tale of a prodigal son (Newman) who rejects his late father's steel mill in favor of big-business conquest, only to find his trophy wife (superbly played by Newman's off-screen wife, Joanne Woodward) straying into the arms of her former fiancé, while he falls in love with a socialite (Ina Balin) with whom he's much more compatible. A well-tuned drama of marital discord and unchecked ambition, From the Terrace was sharply adapted by Ernest Lehman between the triumphs of North by Northwest and West Side Story, and Newman's brooding performance gave him a solid boost to his iconic role in the 1961 classic The Hustler. --Jeff Shannon

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Myrna Loy, Ina Balin, Leon Ames
  • Directors: Mark Robson
  • Writers: Ernest Lehman, John O'Hara
  • Producers: Mark Robson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 149 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008MTW0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,822 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "From The Terrace" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Every few years, I sit back and enjoy "From the Terrace" for what it is. As good old fashioned "potboiler", John O Hara's screen adaptation is not quite as sprawling as say....Edna Ferber's works, but nonetheless is a decent potboiler in its own right. Alfred (Paul Newman), discharged from the Navy after WW II is the ambitious, disaffected son of nouveau riche steel mill owner Samuel Eaton, (Leon Ames). Seeking to make his own unique mark in the world he spurns his father's hopes of joining the business and decides his fortune is to be made elsewhere. Along the way, he meets his future blue-blooded trophy wife Mary St. John (Joanne Woodward) and soon discovers her appetites are far in excess even to his own ambitions. Landing a job at a prestigious Wall Street firm in an oblique way that is a potboiler's trademark, Alfred comes under the watchful eye of old money and traditional expectations by J.D. MacHardie (masterfully portrayed by Felix Aylmer). I very much enjoyed all the scenes in which Aylmer's MacHardie was highlighted and I can almost smell the stodginess of old money, ritual table manners, wood paneled walls, cigars, and brandy that were part of his ultra-conservative environment. Soon enough, while on a trip to scout business opportunities, Alfred meets Natalie (Ina Balin), the unattached daughter of a wealthy coal mine owner. Knowing full well of his marital status, she consents, even encourages his attention and unfaithfulness. Balin manages to pull this off with a naive sweetness without ever seeming cheap or trashy. Infidelity is a major theme in this work and I'm sure its frank discussion must have sparked many a controversy when this film was released very early in 1960.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
A view FROM THE TERRACE is what Paul Newman's character David Alfred Eaton has of his future wife Mary (JoAnne Woodward). The screen play was based on a best-selling novel of the same name by John O'Hara. Given it was released in the 1950s when sex on the screen was verboten and not much more explicit in novels (ban a book in Boston), one must appreciate the work it took for Newman and Woodward to give these performances.
Like many other teenagers of my generation, I was "in love" with Paul Newman. Newman could make female hearts flutter by simply looking at the camera with his big blue eyes. Many other teens preferred Marlon Brando, his peer and rival for female affection. I believe these two actors were the Leonardo de Caprio and Brad Pitt of their day, although in the long run, Newman (like de Caprio) has had more staying power and gracefully made the transition to mature roles.
In the 1950s, to see a film one had to attend a theater, where the screen was usually covered with a huge velvet curtain. FTT played at the Center theater in my small town, and I saw the film six times after it was released. I was able to get into the theater for a quarter, and as my allowance was $3, this was no small sacrifice. So, you might say this film was one of my all time favorites.
Watching it again almost 50 years later, I wondered how I would react, and of course the passage of time and arrival of many other actors and vast changes in filmmaking have affected the way I view the film and Newman, but I still like him enormously, and this film holds it's own, though the storyline may seem archaic.
This film is about infidelity and divorce and the price of success, a story line that may be lost on generations raised in an age of no-fault divorces and dual earner households.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
A classic film adaptation from one of John O'Hara's massive tomes, Mark Robeson's "From the Terrace" hold it's age well and is lots of fun to boot.
Producer Director Mark Robson presents to us in the glossy grandeur of 20th Century-Fox the postwar portrait of a young man on the rise who sacrifices love for money, to a point that is.
Paul Newman turns in an expertly colored performance as Alfred Newman. His brooding good looks and hard angles are the perfect reflection of young corporate America of the late 40's and 50's. Yet under that cool hard as coal exterior he hides a desire that only emerges toward the end of the film, yet it is there from the first frame of the film fueling his performance.
Joanne Woodward as Mary St.John is no less brilliant. Her icy cool old money Mary is just the perfect fortress to entice Newman. She plays the part as if she were born to it and in the end she is left hard, jaded and desperate. She proves once again why she is still one of our best film actresses from the fifties who is still working today.
Studio costume designer Travilla should be noted for his wonderful costumes. He was most famous for his designs in the 50's for Marilyn Monroe. Here he presents a stunningly elegant collection of the best looks of the late 50's and early 60's. His designs are rich and restrained and a feast for the eye.
The score by the late great Elmer Bernstein is another masterpiece by this musical genius who's work spanned the from "The Ten Commandments" to "Vanilla Sky". It is a perfect score. Of particular note is the scene between Mary and her old lover at the ice-skating shed and the scene where Alfred rescues a drowning boy. These cues are magnificent and moving.
"From The Terrace" is both trashy fun and a thought provoking view of money, power and sexual politics of mid century America.
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