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Two for the Seesaw

3.8 out of 5 stars 34 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 (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002Y26UQK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,441 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Two for the Seesaw" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: VHS Tape
The William Gibson play-cum-film Two for the Seesaw was on TCM recently, and being a Robert Mitchum fan I wanted to see it. Not to mention Shirley MacLaine (yes, she's been around forever!), Robert Wise (his first post-West Side Story direction) and Andre Previn doing the music.

But little did I know that the music and the cinematography (by Ted D. McCord) would be the best part of this film. Both were nominated for Academy Awards, they stand out so much-not that Mitchum and MacLaine, who dominate this two-hander almost totally, were terrible, to the contrary-that the movie became more of a celebration of New York in glorious black & white, and the jazz score a stunning evokation of the tumult of star-crossed love.

I certainly was surprised by Mitchum's settled and reserved performance here, as a seperated wandering Nebraskan lawyer who falls hard for a younger dancer. His characteristic muscularity or physical imposition is covered by a sharp suit the whole time, and the internal strife of his instability-which is only exacerbated by MacLaine's Gittel, her immaturity and vibrance-combined for a distinct performance in the Mitchum canon. MacLaine by the way is very cute and spunky here, sharp and vulnerable, & but for her nasally whim and inflections, she is also excellent.

But the cinematography of Ted D. McCord and the music of Andre Previn are the highlights here. In fact I later realized that Two for the Seesaw was on TCM because of it's brilliant cinematography, scheduled along with To Catch a Thief, Black Narcissus, A Farewell to Arms, all of which won Oscars for cinematography, and The Facts of Life, which was also nominated....
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