Main Street (Calle Mayor) (1958)

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The Franco-Spanish Calle Mayor (aka Main Street and The Lovemaker) is an excellent showcase for the underrated and brilliant American actress Betsy Blair. In a reprise of her characterization in Marty, Blair plays Isabelle, a repressed, unmarried 35-year-old. As a cruel joke, a group of middle-aged men persuade a handsome but thick-headed hunk named Juan (Jose Suarez) to romance the reclusive Isabelle. When it becomes clear that she is hopelessly in love with him, the pangs of conscience begin exercising their prerogative on Juan. He is able to extricate himself from this awkward emotional entanglement, but the price that he and Isabelle are forced to pay is precious indeed. Calle Mayor was able to secure American bookings on the strength of the success of director Juan Antonio Bardem's previous film Death of a Cyclist. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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