Strangers When We Meet - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Strangers When We Meet Reviews

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July 3, 2016
One of the great, vastly underrated soap operatic love stories, between Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak, who are married to other people. With Walter Matthau, Barbara Rush, and Ernie Kovacs.
½ October 8, 2011
On est en 1960, le fantaisiste Richard Quine s'assombrit et signe avec "Strangers when we meet" une chronique ordinaire facon Douglas Sirk, la trivialite en plus. Tact inoui, histoire de coeurs et histoire de corps : assurement son plus grand film.
Super Reviewer
August 29, 2011
I found this drama to be quite dull. The majority of it is spent with the actors sitting around talking, smoking, drinking, and talking some more. It has all the usual plot devices of an affair drama, no surprises or anything. It's not bad, though. I wouldn't say this movie was worse than any other movies like it. It's just not good either.
½ July 4, 2011
the paradox within the cultural temperament of 1960s america is the juxtaposition of sexual liberation (free love among the youth) and the height of bourgeois suburban dream, the co-existence of radical activism and the conservative reactionary. thus "strangers when we meet" is the mediocre lukewarm product moulded by such social atmosphere. on the one hand, it encourages emancipation for married woman to re-vitalize her confidence meanwhile it also dubs moralistic pedogogy that marriage is a commitment which should not be nullfied.

kim novak plays a housewife with a wooden un-passionate husand who demands her to put her clothes on in order to appear decent in their own house (come on, your wife is kim novak, wouldn't you supposedly be more passionate to such voluptuous woman?) thus she finds herself suffocated in a lifeless marriage, and she seeks solace from her neighbor, who happens also to be married, who also finds his wife quite insensitive to his passions of life, frustrated by the lack of mental connections and spiritua)l communications. in one scene, novak without bra, in a scarlett (flesh-red dress requests the man to kiss in a hissing exclamation as if she's sensually requesting for orgasm as you could clearly see the tempting shape of her naked bossom.

the ending is that the woman just bids farewell to the man graciously without making a fuss about his sudden decision to depart and leave her in a loveless marriage. it's like saying: we have had a great fun together, and eventually i will return home to be a good little wife and you could easily take off. ok, perhaps i ideologize everything, it feels like a patronization of hugh hefner-esque chauvinism. yes, free love is only doable under the premise that woman is the man's plaything without any actual romantic consequence. (and woman, you're on your own, since i'm gonna help you.)

BUT, how could you do except just letting him go? strangers when we meet, still strangers after you put your pants back on! quite a roller-coaster ride of free love without paying the ticket fair, isn't it?
½ July 23, 2010
July 2010 - This is a very well developed family drama. The characters are quite attractive even though I don't think they are explained very well. K Douglas is always somewhere between a deceiving unfaithful husband and a true artist in love. On the other hand K Novak looks psychologically troubled and the only explanation for her strange behavior seems to be sexual deprivation. Other characters are rather shallow. But overall visually the movie is appealing and I liked the ending.
½ April 7, 2010
A peculiar movie for Douglas but an excellent performance that I totally enjoyed. Kim Novak was like a walking zombie in this and it's a shame that her performance was so bad against his that was so good. Good performances however by all else in the cast including Walter Maththau. The story of a successful architect with a beautiful wife and 2 children who would seemingly have it all - except he falls for a married woman he meets at his son's bus-stop (Novak) Age old story - nothing new here but for me it was about the performance by Dougals and totally enjoying the razzle-dazzle of the beautiful cars and costumes of 1960 in this film. Was a fun watch.
½ December 6, 2009
Solid if not overly immersive melodrama.
½ November 19, 2009
Kim Novak and Kirk Douglas steam up the screen in this well-done film depicting a torrid suburban affair in Dwight Eisenhower's sexually repressed America. Walter Matthau and Ernie Kovacks gave great performances. The script was amazing and so was the directing by Richard Quine. This film is a must see if you're a fan of either Novak or Douglas.
November 9, 2009
I read this book several months ago, and the movie ended very differently. I can't decide which version I like better. Great acting from Douglas and Novak.
October 20, 2009
My first impulse was to call this "Sirkian" but I worry that I might fall into a trap of labelling ANY melodrama "Sirkian". Sometimes a soap opera is just a soap opera. And this is pretty soapy... it certainly didn't have any of the transcendent quality of Sirk. Predictable suburban infidelity romance, nothing at all noteworthy about it (except that it's rather steamy for 1960). I didn't hate anything about it, but it didn't do much for me.
February 12, 2009
i shouldnt watch melodramas that werent directed by douglas sirk. when it comes to that genre, it was owned by sirk and to a lesser extent george stevens. the cast was good enough and i would always enjoy a lil matthau. still, it was very very dull
January 18, 2009
Existential suburban adultery story. Sort of Mad Men set in the Hollywood Hills. Beautiful movie visually.
Super Reviewer
November 30, 2008
Kim Novak, at the height of her beauty, gives a fine performance full of submerged insecurity. She's fragile and bruised longing to be loved. She was always a spotty actress but when the material suited her she could really deliver. The rest of the cast is fine but overshadowed by her. Nice art design and beautiful color photography.
½ November 8, 2008
Kirk Douglas is captivating in this. Great classic flick. Highly recommend this one.
August 22, 2008
una historia de amor entre personas casadas, final mas q predecible. que pesa mas entre sueños y seguridad? me gusto ver la estetica de esos años tanto en vestimenta como en decoracion y diseño. kirk douglas era todo un mino.
August 19, 2008
"Passion isn't a dirty word, Ken!!!"
½ August 13, 2008
ok stuff a little slow
May 5, 2008
Melodrama in suburbia. Egomaniac architect Kirk Douglas and unfulfilled neighbor Kim Novak have a torrid affair. Smarmy neighbor Walter Matthau figures it out.
Ernie Kovacs plays an author who hires Kirk Douglas to build a house for him in the Hollywood Hills. The house construction is shown throughout the movie.
Wonderful 1960 clothing, cars, and set design. There is a great cocktail party scene.
This movie is not for all tastes, it is like a trashy novel.
April 28, 2008
Decent film with good performances by the leads. You could see this as a precursor to "under the veneer of suburbia" films like American Beauty and The Ice Storm, but the plot leads towards melodrama rather than social satire.
April 18, 2008
This is a good and sad movie. It's a sad movie because of how the affair affects everyone.
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