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.
Classics , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures

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Steve McQueen
as Rocky Papasano
Natalie Wood
as Angie Rossini
Richard Dysart
as Accountant
Edie Adams
as Barbie
Val Avery
as Stein
Elena Karam
as Woman Doctor
Zack Norman
as Young Man
Tom Bosley
as Anthony Colombo
Penny Santon
as Mama Rossini
Harvey Lembeck
as Julio Rossini
Herschel Bernardi
as Dominick Rossini
Augusta Ciolli
as Mrs. Papasano
Barney Martin
as Sidney
Richard Bowler
as Flower Vendor
Louis Guss
as Flooey
Frank Marth
as Carlos
Anne Hegira
as Beetie
Nick Alexander
as Guido Rossini
Lennie Bremen
as Truck Driver
Wolfe Barzell
as The Priest
Nina Varela
as Mrs. Colombo
Mario Badolati
as Elio Papasano
Vince Deadrick
as Call Boy
Ann Hegira
as Beetie
Keith Worthey
as Negro Boy
Jean Shulman
as Charlene
Lou Herbert
as Harold
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Critic Reviews for Love with the Proper Stranger

All Critics (5)

Exemplifies the lacerating realism that cinema had just barely invented.

Full Review… | June 8, 2015
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

Full Review… | August 4, 2012

Underrated romantic drama, with rich NYC atmosphere and a trenchant look at sexual mores.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Classic Film and Television

Well actted by Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood

June 29, 2005

Quote not available.

January 27, 2004

Quote not available.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Don Ignacio's Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Love with the Proper Stranger

This movie is a real good story. The more you watch it the better it gets. I have seen this more than any other flic. I've watched it about 15 times. The acting is great especailly Edie Adams, The movie must have had a forestorm of criticism in 1963. The topics are casual sex, abortion, single woman living alone and making her own money and decisions. Tom Bosly is wonderful as the blubbery mommas boy who loves the heroine.

bill frred
bill frred

★★★ (out of four) Natalie Wood received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in this bold film that dared look at the issue of abortion. oday it seems rather tame, but I'm sure it caused quite a stir when it was released. Wood plays Angie Rossini, a young italian-american living with her family in New York City. She feels lost in the big family, so she starts seeing a Rocky (Steve McQueen) a local jazz musician. She becomes pregnant, but does want to get married. She only wants Rocky to give her enough money to pay for the abortion. He tries to help, but his other girlfriend intervenes. Wood can sometimes rub me the wrong way. Here she is quite good and McQueen shows much promise of things to come. The film, overall, is not a home run, but it is a pretty solid piece of filmmaking. [IMG][/IMG]

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

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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