Posted on 2/28/12 03:17 AM
A 4 Oscar winning and 8 nominations total (including BEST DIRECTOR and PICTURE nominations), it's another masterpiece from Hollywood doyen William Wyler, contributing a significant second Oscar of actress in a leading role for Olivia de Havilland.
Adapted from a Broadway play with the same title (by Ruth and Augustus Goetz), the story concerns a rite of passage for a young scion to experience a double bolts from the blue by her two beloved men and metamorphose into a cold-hearted rich spinster. The film offers an intensive psychological battle of a young heiress' dueling with both her sullen father (who constantly feel disappointed by her since she could never match her dead mother's immaculate image) and her handsome gold-digger-cum-love-of-interest (a too-pretty-for-her Montgomery Clift).
The film never shies away from the daring confrontations of realistic barriers setting against the main characters, and an enticing performance feast could be conceived by all cineastes who enjoy cinematic dramas (myself included), Olivia de Havilland (it's my first film starring her, shame on me for GONE WITH THE WIND 1939), is magnificently polarized in her role before/after the incident of jilted and bereavement, as a thirty-something playing a besotted ingenue, she nails every second of her screen time and a well-deserving Oscar walkover for her (her first Oscar is gained from TO EACH HIS OWN three years before in 1946). Another Oscar-nominated performance is from Ralph Richardson (BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR), a should-have-won elite acting so compelling as to elevate the whole film onto an exhilarating exploit at any rate. Mr. Clift is also recommendable, Miriam Hopkins and Betty Linley are both scene-stealers in their appearance.
A big bravo for another Hollywood chef-d'oeuvre from the Golden age!