Love with the Proper Stranger (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Taken for granted by her Italian family, New Yorker Natalie Wood seeks solace in the arms of irresponsible jazz musician Steve McQueen. She becomes pregnant, but doesn't expect McQueen to marry her; all she wants is enough money to pay for an illegal abortion (this is ten years before Roe v. Wade). Not surprisingly, McQueen is refused a loan by his girl friend Edie Adams; meanwhile, Wood is being pressured by her family to marry gormless Tom Bosley. As the abortion appointment approaches, McQueen begins to feel guilty, but still won't propose. Bosley finds out that Wood is pregnant, and is willing to make an honest woman of her. Wood finally makes up her mind what she's going to do and whom she's going to choose when she walks into the seedy abortion clinic. Though very dated, Love With the Proper Stranger is still dramatically viable, thanks to the on-screen rapport between Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen, and to the large and talented New York-based supporting cast.

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Natalie Wood
as Angie Rossini
Steve McQueen
as Rocky Papasano
Edie Adams
as Barbie
Herschel Bernardi
as Dominick Rossini
Tom Bosley
as Anthony Colombo
Harvey Lembeck
as Julio Rossini
Penny Santon
as Mama Rossini
Nick Alexander
as Guido Rossini
Augusta Ciolli
as Mrs. Papasano
Ann Hegira
as Beetie
Mario Badolati
as Elio Papasano
Elena Karam
as Woman Doctor
Nina Varela
as Mrs. Colombo
Wolfe Barzell
as The Priest
Keith Worthey
as Negro Boy
Richard Bowler
as Flower Vendor
Lennie Bremen
as Truck Driver
Jean Shulman
as Charlene
Louis Guss
as Flooey
Val Avery
as Stein
Richard Dysart
as Accountant
Zack Norman
as Young Man
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Love with the Proper Stranger

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

Fortunately the film survives these shortcomings through its sheer breezy good nature and the animal magnetism of its two stars.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Familiar in theme, but given a delightfully fresh flavour by Mulligan's atmospherically low-key direction, excellent performances from Wood and McQueen, and vivid location shooting in New York's Little Italy.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The picture itself is diverting, but weak on that main romantic point.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

Not perfect, but touching and adult; with fine work from the two leads, this is one of Mulligan's better films.

November 21, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Exemplifies the lacerating realism that cinema had just barely invented.

June 8, 2015 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…
Antagony & Ecstasy

Co-starring with the charismatic Steve McQueen, Natalie Wood received a second Oscar nomination for this well acted melodrama about pregnancy out of the wedlock

August 4, 2012 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Love with the Proper Stranger

Now this is a good bit of acting. The addressing of the abortion issue is very telling for its era. It is likely that this type of drama paved the way for film makers to take more chances and emerge from the rather grey 50s. Natalie Wood and McQueen are very solid.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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