Tuesday, June 16, 2009

There's Always Tomorrow

Clifford Groves is a “happy” family man, aghast at a future of dull and endless adult responsibility, until the appearance of an ex-employee with a long-standing crush offers an escape route. The constrictions of family, and offspring in particular, are revisited from Sirk’s masterpiece All That Heaven Allows, made directly before this, but the resolution comes down here firmly on the side of convention. It could hardly be any other way, however, for instead of a mature and intelligent protagonist surrounded by a gallery of grotesques, MacMurray’s toy company head is of course a boy who won’t grow up, and conflict is provided by a careful balancing of each character’s interests. Sirk solicits sympathy for all of them in a bold attempt at moral opacity (greatly aided by Stanwyck, terrific and noble as the discarded plaything, though Bennett is sorely underused), but the end result is curiously unsatisfying as everyone does the right thing, MacMurray gets off scot free and the status quo is affirmed as not so bad after all.

d Douglas Sirk p Ross Hunter sc Bernard C. Schoenfeld ph Russell Metty ed William M. Morgan ad Alexander Golitzen, Eric Orbom m Heinz Roemheld, Herman Stein cast Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Bennett, William Reynolds, Pat Crowley, Gigi Perreau
(USA, 1956, 84m, b/w)
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