MORE 1001 MOVIES FROM THE 50's
(Post 6 of 10)
One of the most famous dramas from the fifties, A Place in the Sun is based on Theodore Dreiser's early twentieth century novel, An American Tragedy. The plot involves poor, but ambitious George Eastman (Montgomery Clift), who works his way up the corporate ladder of his rich relatives business and gets involved with the loving, but simple Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters). He later meets the beautiful Anglea Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor) who he falls for right away. This creates a problem with the lingering presence of Alice, whose relationship with George is further complicated by the fact that she is in a family way...
It sounds like a bit of a soap opera when you try to recount the plot, but it really is a strong drama, with well-cast leads, a tragic story (as the original title indicates) and very solid directorial touches from George Stevens (who won the Academy Award for A Place in the Sun). In fact, the film won the most Academy Awards of any film released in 1951 (6), but lost out to An American in Paris for Best Picture.
And the Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award goes to...Shelley Winters
|Poor, poor Shelley Winters in A Place in the Sun|
Some of her subsequent supporting roles include: Lolita's ill-fated mother in Lolita, another mother role in the 60's cult film, Wild in the Streets, another ill-fated romantic lead in Night of the Hunter, the lead gangster in Bloody Mama and of course, her turn in the 70's disaster film The Poseidon Adventure. She also was the a frequent talk show guest over the years, where her persona as a rather abrasive, middle-aged, heavy-set woman was instilled in many of us.
|"Wow! That's Shelley Winters?"Still from the late 40's|