East Side, West Side 1949

East Side, West Side

Critics Consensus

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33%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 6

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 362

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Movie Info

Wealthy New York City investment broker Brandon Bourne is a compulsive philanderer, much to the consternation of his wife, Jessie (Barbara Stanwyck). When Brandon reignites an affair with his old mistress, Isabel (Ava Gardner), Jessie seeks consolation with Mark Dwyer (Van Heflin), a policeman turned journalist. Then Isabel is found dead, and both Brandon and Jessie are suspected of the murder. Along with his former colleague Lt. Jacobi (William Conrad), Mark tries to solve the case.

Cast & Crew

Barbara Stanwyck
Jessie Bourne
James Mason
Brandon Bourne
Ava Gardner
Isabel Lorrison
Van Heflin
Mark Dwyer
Cyd Charisse
Rosa Senta
Raymond Greenleaf
Horace Elcott Howland
Douglas Kennedy
Alec Dawning
Isobel Lennart
Screenwriter
Miklós Rózsa
Original Music
Charles Rosher
Cinematographer
Randall Duell
Art Director
Cedric Gibbons
Art Director
Edwin B. Willis
Set Decoration
Helen Rose
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for East Side, West Side

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for East Side, West Side

  • Apr 01, 2017
    The main theme of this movie is one that has played out so many times in movies and books (and life): a man (James Mason) cheats on his wife (Barbara Stanwyck) with a woman (Ava Gardner) who gives him the thrills she cannot. The affair was over, but now she's back. He resists, but she points out that fireworks are not something to be taken lightly: "Maybe it wasn't love, maybe it was only chemistry, or the right combination, or a miracle. But most people drag through their whole lives without finding it. We both know that, don't we Bran?" And when he tells her he doesn't want to see her again, she purrs the sexy double entendre "I'll do exactly what you want Bran, exactly what you want." Gardner is just brilliant, oozing raw desire and channeling Jean Harlow in "The Red-Headed Woman" when she later gets slapped by Mason. Instead of being hurt, she eggs him on, knowing his passion is rising, and knows "that's what you're missing at home", and "you want to be rotten like me." Stanwyck plays the virtuous wife with quiet grace, though I thought she was too reserved in a showdown scene with the outlandishly mean Gardner. It's always great to see her movies though, and she does play 'hurt' and 'conflicted' well. There is a lot of star power here, with Cyd Charisse and Van Heflin also in the cast, and even an appearance from Nancy Davis, who of course would later be Nancy Reagan. As Stanwyck is betrayed by Mason, she turns to Heflin, and it's quite clear they're mutually attracted. Heflin is so smooth and likeable, and there is dignity in his acknowledgment of his love for her without resorting to adultery, in direct contrast to Gardner and Mason. Mason and Stanwyck may have gotten top billing, but I think they were upstaged by Heflin and Gardner. As the pressure ratchets up, both Mason and Stanwyck find themselves needing to make choices, though Mason's is disrupted by an event I won't spoil. There are some events that might be too convenient as it plays out, but there is reality and passion here, and I enjoyed this film.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    A good drama about complicated romances.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Oct 26, 2007
    A great cast isn't given much to do in this generally droll melodrama that gets slightly noirish. Barbara Stanwyck and James Mason are surprisingly unmemorable, but and early performance by Ava Gardner stands out (as if a young Ava Gardner couldn't stand out) for the few scenes she has but East Side, West Side. Otherwise this movie is just dated and for the most part forgettable.
    Michael G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 26, 2007
    This one really took me by surprise; it's well worth the watch. Barbara Stanwyck is superb here as the long-suffering wife of James Mason, the playboy who claims to love her, but cannot seem to stop chasing other women -- especially Ava Gardner. This might be Stanwyck's best acting job I've seen so far. It's very understated. You feel sorry for her, but she never overplays the victim role. She is too strong to do that, by far.<p> The biggest surprise for me, however, is Van Heflin. If this were a performance battle between him and James Mason, Heflin would clearly be the winner. Too bad he didn't have a greater career. The man can really deliver lines. <p> As a side note, Cyd Charisse does not dance in this one. Still, she is wonderful. A very fine actress on top of her dancing prowess.
    Lanning : Super Reviewer

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