Come Back, Little Sheba (1952) - Rotten Tomatoes

Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)

Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Come Back, Little Sheba Photos

Movie Info

In the original Broadway production of this William Inge play, Shirley Booth played Lola Delaney, the vulgar, dumpy, less-than-bright "shotgun bride" of recovering alcoholic Doc Delaney, played on stage by Sidney Blackmer, who won a Tony award for his efforts. When time came to film the play, Shirley Booth was retained as Lola, but Burt Lancaster replaced Blackmer as Doc. Although Lancaster seems far too youthful for the role, the film is a fascinating and sometimes funny study of an unhappy marriage made unhappier by the arrival of a sexy stranger. Young Marie (Terry Moore) rents a room from Lola, a tiresome creature who never stops talking, especially about the "imminent" return of her runaway dog Sheba. Doc is having enough trouble staying away from the bottle and resigning himself to his marriage without the curvaceous Marie arousing his baser instincts. The characters interact with gloomy consequences, in the typical kitchen-sink-realism style of Inge's Fifties plays, although a tacked-on happy ending, common to Fifties movie melodramas, pretends otherwise.
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


Shirley Booth
as Lola Delaney
Burt Lancaster
as Doc Delaney
Richard Jaeckel
as Turk Fisher
Terry Moore
as Marie Buckholder
Philip Ober
as Ed Anderson
Lisa Golm
as Mrs. Goffman
Walter Kelley
as Bruce Cunningham
Edwin Max
as Elmo Huston
William Haade
as Interne
Virginia Hall
as Blonde
Anthony Jochim
as Mr. Cruthers
Peter Leeds
as Milkman
Kitty McHugh
as Pearl Stinson
Paul McVey
as Postman
Beverly Mook
as Judy Coffman
Virginia Mullen
as Henrietta
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Come Back, Little Sheba

All Critics (6)

In this adaptation of Inge's play, Daniel Mann, a specialist of melodramas, gets a good performance from Shirely Booth as a self-pitying housewife but a misguided one from Burt Lancaster.

Full Review… | June 2, 2006

Nothing comes alive at you. Nothing roots us to the Delaneys, and in turn nothing grounds them in any world except that of Inge's creaky schemata.

Full Review… | August 21, 2005
Nick's Flick Picks

This is Booth's movie as was the Broadway production. Dynamic.

October 16, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

among the best of several booze-obsessed Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s

Full Review… | June 26, 2004

Audience Reviews for Come Back, Little Sheba

I am perplexed that so many Flixster reviewers misunderstand this movie. It's about coming to terms with disappointment and making life worthwhile. Not just Lola (Shirley Booth's character) but all the film's principals are forced to face up to an emotional crisis, move past it, and get on with their lives. Of course the power of a movie is determined by how compellingly it tells a story. The story here is well worth the telling, and it is well told.

John Techwriter
John Techwriter

★★★1/2 (out of four) I have not seen the stage play by playwright William Inge, so I can't compare the two. But, as always I will review the theatrical version and base it solely on its own merit. Shirley Booth reprises her stage role as a token wife, who is not the hsarpest tool in the shed. Her husband (Burt Lancaster) is a recovering alcoholic and puts her through much unhappiness. Trouble arrives in the form of a beautiful young woman (Terry Moore) who moves in renting a room in the house. [IMG][/IMG] I found the film to be wonderfully written. Shirley Booth in her screen debut won an Oscar as the sad wife. She is stunning and unlike other typical Hollywood actresses.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Shirley Booth gives a beautiful performance in this heart breaker, Burt Lancaster is also very fine in a portrait of a sad dance of need and devotion.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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