Something to Live For
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Joan Fontaine plays a famous actress who descends into alcoholism in this classic melodrama directed by George Stevens (A Place in the Sun). Ray Milland in an unofficial extension of his classic Lost Weekend role; plays a reformed drunkard who comes to Fontaine’s rescue, encouraging her to join Alcoholic Anonymous while continuing to struggle with his own demons. The two lost souls fall in love, but they refuse to endanger his marriage; no matter how strong their feeling are for each other. Teresa Wright co-stars as Milland’s wife. Costume design by legendary designer, Edith Head (Sunset Boulevard).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Not the usual Hollywood happy end for this romance, though... The end is bitter-sweet , but there is still an optimistic notion, that as long as you have the knowledge of someone out there that you love and who loves you back, it's OK, you can go on living, and be happy with what you have, even though you are not allowed to be together.
This film has a very special place in my DVD collection and I highly recommend it.
Olive’s transfer of this film is exemplary, sharp and showing strong contrast. It could pass as a BD.
There are the usual Stevens touches, like his extended dissolves that worked so well in "A Place In The Sun", that simply become meaningless here. Lots of scenes were shot through curtains and shadows for no apparent reason other than being different. Maybe Stevens hated his cast. The pacing is akin to that of a tired snail that is simply not going to make it. Was Stevens trying his hand at Neo-Realism, Hollywood style? Well, there's more action in an Antonioni movie than there is here. There are also some ludicrous elements as in the choice of theater play (about ancient Egypt!) that is supposed to launch Fontaine's character into stage stardom towards the end of the plot that seem more like a send-up than a realistic, viable vehicle - one expects the "audience" in the movie to laugh, yet they sit through it all with a straight face. What on earth were they thinking of? She was an aspiring actress, not an aspiring Opera singer. It is truly disappointing to watch so many talented people come up with such a klutzy stinker.
For far more powerful entries about characters coping with alcoholism, try "The Lost Weekend", "Smash-Up, The Story Of A Woman", or "I'll Cry Tomorrow."
Two stars for the DVD transfer that presents clean, sharp images with excellent contrast and good sound, but I would only recommend it to die-hard fans of Stevens, Fontaine, Milland or Wright, but even if your preference is romance, I would stay away from this lethal snoozer even as a rental.