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Drama, Not on Ebay

1958 | FULLSCREEN | B&W | Quality: Good - VHS Transfer

Shirley Booth

Anthony Quinn

Shirley MacLaine


$9.99

SHIRLEY BOOTH'S ONE-WOMAN ASSAULT ON YOUR HEART

Shirley Booth was one of those few very special performers that could break your heart with a glance over the shoulder, a flutter of the hand, or a stumbling voice. You'll get all of that and more here as she plays Alma Duval - the kind-hearted matriarch of a family which is on the verge of tearing itself apart. Alma's husband John Duval (Anthony Quinn) is a successful, self-made businessman who spends all his time working - or so he says. Actually, he is having an affair with a woman half his age (Jody Lawrance, wow!). Their three unhappy children (Shirley MacLaine, Earl Holliman, Clint Kimbrough) wrestle with the dilemma of whether to clue mom in or protect her feelings. Alma herself suspects her marriage is in trouble, but is in deep denial and clings to some truly sad delusional thinking. She puts together a surprise birthday party for John, but the whole thing turns into a non-event when he brushes it off to go on a date with his mistress. Alma's fantasy world begins to come crashing down in a series of scenes which center around the uneaten birthday cake she worked so hard on (nice symbolism) and then things really go to hell in a handbasket. Director Daniel Mann pulls no punches in his depiction of a failing marriage and dysfunctional family, giving us a surprisingly frank & realistic examination for the 1950s.

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