<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 26, 2021



‘A PLACE IN THE SUN’ is one of the most talked about films of the 50s, a commercial and critical success that won six Oscars, including best director for George Stevens, who’d later direct other classics like “Diary of Anne Frank”, “Giant” and one of the best westerns ever, “Shane”. 

It also won as best musical score for its haunting theme music that can give you LSS.

The film is based on the novel, “An American Tragedy”, by Theodor Dreiser, which is in turn based on a real life crime story that happened in 1906 about a man executed in the electric chair for killing his girlfriend. 

It was first filmed in 1931 and has been adapted in several other countries, on film, as a stage play. or on TV, like Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania and Japan.

Even the Philippines where Lino Brocka made it into “Nakaw na Pag-ibig” for Viva starring Nora Aunor, Phillip Salvador and Hilda Koronel.

“A Place in the Sun” starred Montgromery Clift in the lead role of George Eastman, a poor young man from Chicago who hitchhikes his way to California to work in his rich uncle’s factory. 

His wealthy relatives regard him as a poor relation and he aims to work his way up through hard work. 

But he falls in love with one of the factory girls, Alice (Shelley Winters), when the factory specifically forbids any relationship between its employees. 

They get intimate then George meets a wealthy and stunning socialite, Angela (Elizabeth Taylor), who also gets attracted to him and they quickly fall in love. 

George enjoys his social climbing with his new high society friends, but Alice then informs him that she’s pregnant with his baby and insists that he should marry her. 

While on a boat trip on a mountain lake, an accident happens and Alice drowns. 

George tries to hide what happened, but the police eventually apprehends him and he is sentenced to die on the electric chair. 

The story is actually dark and grim and it does not have the usual happy ending, and yet people flocked to it in theaters that time. 

It certainly helped that the deadly love triangle story has been updated to 1950 and starred very attractive stars. And also, there’s the shadow of a doubt about the crime. 

Although it’s obvious George intends to drown Alice, he cannot go through with it and it’s a misstep on the part of Alice that caused tne boat to turn over, followed by George’s subsequent arrest, trial and conviction. 

Monty Clift is considered one of the most good looking actors of that era, also famous for his style of Method acting. 

He started on Broadway but gained lots of fans after he played Olivia de Havilland’s opportunistic boyfriend in the classic 1949 film, “The Heiress”. 

Liz Taylor is definitely exceedingly beautiful on screen, looking so radiant and luminous in every scene. 

Liz and Monty became good friends while making this film.

They would be paired again in “Raintree Country” in 1957, during the shoot of which Clift figured in a car crash that damaged his face. Their last film together was “Suddenly Last Summer” in 1959. 

Clift lived a very troubled life and died at the still young age of 45. It seems he’s really trying to find his own place in the sun in real life but didn’t find it. Liz would later reveal that Clift confided to her that he’s gay.

In hindsight, the film also shows the travesty of the judicial system. 

George has already been condemned in the eyes of the lynch mob and is convicted after the jury pleasing and theatrical grandstanding of the prosecutor, played by Raymond Burr (who later got his iconic role as “Perry Mason”). 

It is not truth that really matters, but getting the emotional reaction of the jury members who are tasked with deciding the fate of the accused. And the biggest sin of George is that he tried to grasp something that is just beyond his reach.