From the Terrace
is one of Paul Newman's lesser-known films, but it's a worthy showcase for the actor's developing screen persona. Like Butterfield 8
, this is a slick, prestigious adaptation of a John O'Hara novel, about loose morals and forbidden love among the wealthy elite. Director Mark Robson lacks the mastery of melodrama that Douglas Sirk would've brought to this material, but he's still on target with O'Hara's tale of a prodigal son (Newman) who rejects his late father's steel mill in favor of big-business conquest, only to find his trophy wife (superbly played by Newman's off-screen wife, Joanne Woodward) straying into the arms of her former fiancé, while he falls in love with a socialite (Ina Balin) with whom he's much more compatible. A well-tuned drama of marital discord and unchecked ambition, From the Terrace
was sharply adapted by Ernest Lehman between the triumphs of North by Northwest
and West Side Story
, and Newman's brooding performance gave him a solid boost to his iconic role in the 1961 classic The Hustler
. --Jeff Shannon
Paul Newman portrays a young man whose struggle for success threatens his personal happiness, in this well-scripted screen version of John O'Hara's best-selling novel. Having never known his father's love or respect, Alfred Eaton (Newman) sets out to prove himself in the business world. Marrying the "right" woman (Joanne Woodward), he works unceasingly, but is ultimately confronted with crises and choices that force him to rethink his priorities. Co-starring Myrna Loy as Alfred's alcoholic mother, Leon Ames as his embittered father, and Ina Balin as the woman who might bring him genuine happiness, From The Terrace is an absorbing tale of ambition, power and love fueled by sharp dialogue, complex characterizations and keen insight into the human heart.